Faith Baptist Church is moving toward an elder form of church polity that will reflect the biblical form of church governance. To this end, Dr. Garrett Starr preached a series of four sermons on elder polity in the New Testament church prior to the beginning of our Elder Selection Process which will include the nomination, evaluation, affirmation, and ordination of elders at Faith Baptist Church.
The Steps of Our Transition to Elder Polity:
- In January, Dr. Starr will preach a four-part sermon series on elder polity in the New Testament church. – COMPLETED
- The congregation will submit the names of potential elder candidates to Dr. Starr from Sunday, January 26th to Sunday, February 9th. – COMPLETED
- The four men nominated from among the membership of FBC will be contacted by Dr. Starr and be asked to confirm their willingness to accept the nomination for elder candidacy. All four men affirmed their desire to move forward with the process. – COMPLETED
- Dr. Starr will email the four elder candidates two questionnaires, one for the candidate and one for the candidate’s wife, based upon the biblical qualifications given for elders and their wives. The candidates have until Sunday, March 1, 2020 to return the completed questionnaires to Dr. Starr. Candidates may withdraw themselves or be biblically disqualified for the office of elder. During this time period, the names of elder candidates will not be revealed to the congregation. – COMPLETED
- Those candidates who remain in the affirmation process will begin a twelve-weeks study (mid-March to mid-May) of every aspect of elder leadership in which they will meet weekly together with Dr. Starr. In this stage also, candidates may withdraw themselves from the affirmation process; and the names of elder candidates will not be revealed to the congregation. – CURRENTLY UNDERWAY
- Upon completion of the twelve-weeks study on elder polity, the remaining candidates who desire to complete the elder process will be presented to the church by name. At this time a two-weeks long window will open (near the end of May) that will allow members of Faith Baptist Church to present a protest regarding why they believe a specific candidate does not biblically qualify for the office of an elder. Such protests should be presented to Dr. Starr via the Biblical Protest of an Elder Candidate card provided by the church. Protests will be addressed with the candidate and the one making the protest to come to a satisfactory conclusion which may include the removal of a candidate from the elder process, or the dismissal of the protest if it is found to be baseless or incorrect.
- Upon the completion of the elder candidate protest period, the elder candidates will be ordained as elders of Faith Baptist Church in a Sunday morning service specifically dedicated to this purpose and probably near the beginning of June.
Faith Baptist Church will be led and governed by a group of godly men called Elders, of whom the Lead Pastor is one. These are men in whose lives the working of the Holy Spirit is evident, who have given a worthy witness of the authority of Christ in their lives, who have met the qualifications for this office given in the Scriptures: 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; and 1 Peter 5:2-3, who have been called by God to serve as Elders, and who have been appointed by the Council of Elders.
The Responsibilities of the Elders are:
- Exercising a shepherd’s watch over the church, the flock of God (Acts 20:28; John 21:15-17).
- Showing a consistent study and teaching of the Word of God (1 Tim. 5:17, 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:12).
- Encouraging others by sound doctrine and refuting in love, through biblical church discipline, those who oppose and contradict the Word of God (James 5:19-20; Galatians 6:1; Titus 1:9; Matthew 18:1-35).
- Giving diligent labor, caring leadership, exhortation, and guided counsel in the Word (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).
- Praying for the sick (James 5:13-16).
- Overseeing the operations and ministries of the church (Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 5:17).
- Equipping the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).
What is required to serve as an Elder at Faith Baptist Church?
All potential Elders must meet the biblical requirements for the office given in the Scriptures: 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; and 1 Peter 5:2-3.
Moreover, Elders must be church members of a church of like doctrine and practice to Faith Baptist Church for at least two years, and members of Faith Baptist Church for at least six months prior to beginning the Elder Selection Process. Potential future elders must be invited into the Elder Selection Process by the Elder Council, followed by an affirmation into the office by the unanimous consent of the Elder Council, and affirmation by the congregation according to the constitution and by-laws of Faith Baptist Church.