Elder Pathway Process Update:
On October 1, 2023, EBC members approved the Elder Pathway Process which Pastor Eric and Pastor BJ will use to guide them as they work to onboard any future EBC elders (particularly unpaid/“lay” elders).
The vote totals were as follows:
YES 96 87.3%
NO 14 12.7%
After the totals were announced, the Pastors introduced to the congregation the first group of men who have agreed and committed to begin walking this journey: Jeff Barbour, Jonathan Beasley, Rusty Ellis, Jason Stolz, Guy Tieke, and Adam Townsend. Over the next several months, these men will be meeting regularly with Pastor Eric and Pastor BJ to consider this pastoral calling and their fitness for the position here at EBC. These men are not elders at EBC; but they are men who are willing to be considered for this spiritual leadership office. The Pastors invited the congregation to get to know these men, praying for them as we as a faith family seek the Lord’s direction for their and our futures. It will be a while before any of these candidates will be voted on by the congregation; before then, our church will work through our constitution and by-laws to update and clarify our church documents. You’ll hear much more about that later!
This approved plan, which is again shared below, has been intentionally left generic so as to be adapted for the individuals who might go through the process.
The Elder Pathway “PROCESS” for EBC:
- The current elders commit to work with men who aspire to the office of elder (1 Tim 3:1).
- Under the direction of the Holy Spirit and over an appropriate length of time, these men will have opportunity to sit with current elders, read through elder-selected materials, and engage in pastoral activities and functions as assigned by the elders.
- Selected readings will aim at evaluating each man’s internal aspiration, his current fitness and qualifications, and the unique preparation required for him to be an elder, as well as his capacity to specifically serve as a part of the elder team here at EBC.
- Any man who finishes this process with a clear aspiration and the affirmation of the current elder team would be brought to the church body for consideration and approval, as need and opportunity arose.
This process was brought to the congregation for approval in conjunction with final affirmation approved in the last Elder vote in Sept ’22.
- I affirm the local church has been given two distinct offices: Elders and Deacons, and…
- I affirm the local church is allowed multiple Elders, and...
- I affirm that Elders, biblically called and qualified, may be made up of men who may or may not be financially supported by the church in their service; and
- I also affirm the EET recommendation that our Elders (BJ and Eric) work to define a process to evaluate and develop men who aspire to the office of Elder, with any process to be approved and adopted through future church vote.