For those of you who don’t know, “Session” is our denomination’s word for our board of elders. This currently includes, John, Tom, Nathan, Skip, Wayne, Scott, Brent and me from Hinsdale, and Michael from Palos.
You might notice that the elder representation from the two congregations is rather uneven. This isn’t terribly surprising, given that the Palos site began meeting weekly Sunday mornings less than two years ago. But in God’s providence, Palos is growing, and it’s now time to address this imbalance.
Beginning today, and throughout the rest of the month of June, the congregation is invited to submit to me or Michael names of members of the church whom you believe deserve to be considered for the office of elder. While we will receive any nominations, we are especially asking for nominations of men who might serve as elders for the Palos congregation.
What should you look for as you are considering whom to nominate? The list of qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 is a good place to start. As I understand that passage (and other relevant passages in Scripture), we should be looking for 5 “C’s” in a potential elder:
Character: Does this person exhibit Christ-like behavior in his life and dealings with others? Is he respected by both his family and by others who know him?
Convictions: Does he know the gospel and believe it? Given that he will be an elder in our denomination, does he agree to our theological distinctives (as described in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms)?
Competency: Does his life display the gifts needed for the role of elder? Does he lead his family well? Is he hospitable and welcoming to outsiders? Does he use good judgment? Can he explain the gospel well to others?
Commitment: Does his life already demonstrate a sacrificial concern for the spiritual well-being of others. Will he be able to be faithful in the discharge of his duties as an elder.
Compatibility: This is more of a pragmatic consideration than a biblical one. Does this individual agree with the mission and values particular to Trinity? Will he be able to participate joyfully in the work already being undertaken by the current Session?
The receiving of nominations in June is just the beginning of a rather lengthy process. Michael and I will have initial conversations with nominees before embarking upon an extended period of elder training. At the end of that, those who desire to move forward will undergo a written and oral exam (conducted by the Session), and the Session will then present a list of names to the congregation of those they believe are qualified to be elder. Those whom the congregation approves (by vote) will be ordained as ruling elder and added to our Session.
Please be in prayer for this entire process, that God would direct the congregation as it considers whom to nominate. Pray also that God would give clarity to those who are nominated as they consider whether or not they are called to this office. And please, as you pray, consider who might be qualified to take this role and help lead this church. Email your nominations to Michael or me by the end of this month.