Elders support and share the spiritual development of the Congregation in partnership with the Minister(s). Elders serve as examples of faith, teach by sharing their faith journey, and assist others in their faith journey. They are to be active in the life of the Congregation and support the programs and activities of the Church, including typically presiding at the Lord's Table.
Elders of the church are persons who have been recognized by the Congregation for their gifts of faith, leadership, and compassion, and have been set aside for and ordained to a special servanthood.
Election And Terms Of Office
Based on the needs of the Church, the Elders propose the number of Elders needed to the Board. Elders are elected at the Annual Meeting following the Nominating Process. Elders serve for three years and may be reelected to serve after at least one year off. Terms are to be so staggered that one-third of the Elders serving is elected each year. Responsibilities
An Elder is one who accepts responsibility for the spiritual growth and the well-being of our Church and our Congregation.
This ministry of spiritual leadership has four principal areas of responsibility in which the Elder accepts the following roles:
Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-4)
To care for the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of the flock as a whole and of the individuals who make up the flock; to build people up; to celebrate with them and to feel their pain; to make the Presence of Jesus Christ dwell among us.
Overseer (Ephesians 3:14-21)
To care for the spiritual life of the Church; to keep as a trust the oversight of all matters relating to the discernment of Christ's call for us and to articulate that call in terms of our church mission; to make the difficult decisions as these may be required.
Teacher (Acts 6:1-6)
To teach the Bible and, by example, to model Scripture as our guide for daily living; to continue to learn from the witness of Holy Scripture, our ministers, and other Christians by coming together for mutual enrichment and growth.
Leader in Worship (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
To lead the community of believers in worship as lay priest in the priesthood of all believers and to witness through prayer and through presiding at the Lord's Table.
Among the duties of the office of Elder, the following are of particular importance (for additional duties, see the Torrey Pines Christian Church Handbook for Elders, 1997):
To encourage by example the worship, outreach, educational, and stewardship responsibilities of the church; and, therefore, to be committed to serving in personal stewardship in time, talent, and tithing.
To provide spiritual and administrative leadership by example and by counsel, keeping unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).
To attend worship regularly.
To attend Sunday School classes, Bible study, small groups, and retreats, and to be prepared to teach as well as learn.
To develop and implement a program to contact non-attending members and regular visitors.
To study the Bible, know the Gospel and believe it; to be familiar with 1 Timothy 3.
To evaluate requests made by individuals who desire to become licensed or ordained ministers of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and to make a written report to the General Board and to the regional Minister or Board.
To oversee the Torrey Pines Christian Church Benevolent Fund: a committee of Elders, consisting of the current Chair of the Elders, the immediate Past Chair of the Elders, and a third Elder whose term is indefinite, shall:
- consider all requests for funds and recommend disbursement
- maintain absolute confidentiality
- report the status of funding to the General Board annually and when additional funds are needed.
To perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Chair of Elders or the General Board.
Deacons are the servants of the Church. The ministry of a Deacon is one of servanthood through obedience to God. The general responsibilities of the Deacons are to join with the Elders in promoting the growth and welfare of the Church. They are to be active in the life of the Congregation and support the programs and activities of the Church, including serving Communion to the Congregation.
Election And Terms Of Office
Based on the needs of the Church, the Deacons propose the number of Deacons needed to the Board. Deacons are elected or approved at the Annual Meeting following the Nominating Process (described below). Deacons serve for three years and may be reelected after at least one year off. Terms are to be so staggered that one-third of the Deacons serving is elected each year.
The duties of a Deacon, in addition to those in the Bylaws, shall be the following:
To attend training classes held by the Chair of Deacons in consultation with the Senior Minister.
To serve as ushers in such a way as to help guests select a seat and guide them to it.
To serve as greeters if asked when handing out Sunday bulletins.
To assist the Ministers and the Elders in pastoral visiting.
To serve on the standing committees of the General Board.
To study and know Holy Scripture.
To support the church with time and tithe.
To serve with an attitude of love, unity, and faith.
To perform such other duties as the Elders or the General Board may require.