Interested in Being an Elder?
Purpose of Session
To discern the will of the Lord and to lead the church accordingly.
Organization of the Session
Session is made up of Elders and Pastors with regular attendance from the finance office, trustees and deacons. Elders have the responsibility and authority for governing the congregation and guiding its mission for Christ in the world, Deacons lead ministries that nurture fellowship and caregiving within and beyond the congregation, and trustees are responsible for overseeing the care and management of all physical and financial assets of the church. The deacons and trustees operate under the authority of the session and typically have representatives attend session meetings.
There are a maximum of 15 elders and minimum of 12 with 5 elected each year for three-year terms. They are charged with governing the life and ministry of the local church. The Session meets on the second Thursday of each month. Annually, a retreat is held over one weekend in the spring, alternating emphasis between spiritual renewal and planning. Faithful and prayerful preparation, attendance and participation by every Elder is essential for the Session to fulfill its responsibilities.
Currently the Session works through the following committees
- MESH (Ministry Evaluation + Spiritual Health)
- Grace Commons Foundation
- Governance (GovCo)
- Leadership Development Team (LDT)
- Ministry Evaluation and Spiritual Health (MESH)
- Pastor Support Committee (PSC)
Each Elder is expected to serve on at least one of these committees according to individual interests and abilities.
It is not unusual to have Elders give from 10 to 15 hours per month in serving. In some cases the time commitment may involve more time, depending upon God’s call. In addition an Elder should have a daily prayer and Bible study time. It is a commitment of each person to serve the Lord, to serve the church, and to support the other Elders with whom he/she serves. To do this one must be available for the responsibilities as outlined above, one must commit to daily prayer and be willing to serve where and how the Lord leads.
Qualifications to Serve as an Elder
- A person of mature Christian faith who strives toward the ideals of Christian leadership as reflected in I Tim. 3 and Titus 1.
- A pledging member of Grace Commons Church with regular worship attendance.
- A vision and desire to nurture and shepherd the flock of Jesus Christ.
- An individual called by God and elected by the congregation.
- A teacher of the Word.
Responsibilities of an Elder
- Disciple—the Elder should invest his/her life in discipling others to grow more into the likeness of Christ.
- Shepherd—provide pastoral care and oversight for members of the congregation.
- Discern—as elected by the congregation, an elder makes leadership decisions on behalf of the congregation through discerning the will of God for this church.
- Decision-maker—work with other Elders in the process of determining the Lord’s will as it relates to the work and ministry of the local church.
- Serve as a liaison to committees of Session. The Elder should model out to other committee members how to function most effectively in a committee. He/she should share with the committee Session’s point of view as it bears on particular matters coming before the committee. The liaison has a voice and vote on the committee and should seek to guide and encourage the committee along with the moderator and the staff resource person.
- Assist in worship leadership, the Lord’s Supper, Baptisms, and Healing Prayer.
- Teacher—cultivate one’s ability to share with others the teaching of God’s word in formal and informal settings.
If you would like to email the members of session (which includes Elders, Pastors and regular guests of Session) please email firstname.lastname@example.org.