“The gifts he gave were some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ....” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
“Ruling elders, together with ministers of word and sacrament, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church….” (Book of Order G-2.0301)
At our recent presbytery meeting, there was concern raised at the lack of ruling elders serving on the Presbytery’s executive board. As the staff person assigned to the nominating committee, I can tell you this is probably the most difficult task before us. And it’s not because there aren’t highly qualified, faithful elders throughout our churches. It all lies in connection and relationship.
Members of the nominating committee reach out to folks they know and have been recommended to contact for serving on Presbytery commissions or committees. And that’s usually ministers nominating each other. But when do ruling elders get recommended?
That’s where the pastor of the local congregation comes in.
Pastors know of folks in their church who have served as elders and would be an asset to the Presbytery. We depend on this connection.
Here’s a challenge for all you church pastors out there: think of one person you can ask to serve in some capacity of their interest.
Our councils, commissions, boards, and committees reflect the fullness of service and God’s gifts when it has equal representation of ruling and teaching elders (gender and race balance as well). Besides, it’s in our bylaws. :)
If you or someone you know would like to serve the larger church in Presbytery service, please contact Rev. Doug Early or myself. We welcome the introduction!
Also, please take a moment to review the proposed Property Guidelines and provide us with your comments. The executive board is looking forward to finalizing this document and adopting it at the next Presbytery meeting (April 30 at John Knox Presbyterian Church).
In grace and peace,
Rev. Eliana Maxim
Associate Executive Presbyter