FacebookTwitterRSS FeedPinterest

By Rev Charles Seet

Preached at / Published Life BPC Weekly, 2005-02-27

Text: Ephesians 4:11-12

One of the crucial needs of a growing church is good leaders. A church needs this in order to develop to its fullest potential of serving Christ. But where can we find such leaders? The Scriptures show us that it is the Lord who provides leaders for His people - "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-12).

A wonderful demonstration of this can be found in Acts 6 when the early church needed new leaders in order to make further progress. Out of this came able men like Stephen, who became the very first martyr, and Philip, who became a very dedicated evangelist. 

But we also observe that while God provides the leaders, it is the responsibility of Christians to recognize the need and take the necessary steps to choose the leaders that God has provided. "Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business." (Acts 6:3) It is up to each congregation to recognize those whom God has placed in its midst to be leaders, and appoint them to do the work of the Lord.

God willing, this is what we will do at our church election on 24 April 2005. All members are hereby urged to consider whom they should choose to form the Session of the Church for the next three years. What criteria should we use in making our choice? The same verse (Acts 6:3) provides three of them: 

Firstly, they must be men "of honest report." To have an honest report means that one must have a good reputation in public and be well-spoken of by everyone. This first qualification is a moral one. One should be above reproach in all matters, whether it be in family life, social life, working life or financial matters. That is the first criterion for considering anyone for a place of leadership. Is there anything in a person's background that could be used against him? If we have been living lives which seek to glorify our Lord and which are consciously striving to do His will, then we can meet this moral qualification. In fact, all Christians, not just leaders, should always seek to be people of honest report. 

The second criterion mentioned in Acts 6:3 is "full of the Holy Spirit." This directs our attention to the spiritual qualifications. It implies that a leader cannot be a new Christian, but one who has grown into Christian maturity, having already learned how to submit daily to the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that his will and desires are fully in tune with God's will and desires. This spiritual maturity )s acquired through a serious study of God's Word and through consistent prayer. One needs to develop sensitivity to the Spirit and discernment of God's will not just for oneself, but for God's people as well. If we are walking with the Lord in prayer and in His Word daily, we will be able to develop this qualification well. As with the earlier qualification, it is God's will that all Christians should be continuously filled with the Spirit.

The third qualification is a little more difficult to have,kas it is a practical one. The word used in Acts 6:3 is "wisdom." And in this context, it refers to skill in administrative or leadership matters. It would include the ability to organize and plan, to make sound decisions, to coordinate activities, to exercise faithful and efficient stewardship and good management of resources. Although not everyone may have this qualification, it may be cultivated with diligent effort and experience.

Now that we have seen these three criteria, we also want to notice that all were to be met at the same time. Having one or two out of three would not be good enough. The apostles did not say, "Look out for seven men who are of honest report, or full of the Holy Spirit, or full of wisdom." The conjunction used is and. So if someone had a good reputation and was Spirit-filled, but has terrible leadership skills, he should not be considered for the leadership post. On the other hand, if someone is excellent in leadership but spiritually or morally weak, he would also not qualify. 

A candidate for church leadership has to meet all three criteria. The question that now comes is: Can we ever find sufficient members in the church, who meet all these criteria, and who are willing to lead the church? Humanly speaking, it may be very difficult. But let us remember that it is God who ensures that there will always be members with such qualities available to be leaders for His church. They are gifts from Him to the church, and they will emerge from among the ranks of believers whenever the time of need arises.

Members of the Church as well as friends attending Life B-P Church are requested to pray earnestly for God's guidance and blessing, so that only the ones of His choosing may be identified and elected to office, to oversee the flock of God. Let everything be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40) and to the glory of God.

The process of Election to the Session is clearly defined in the following paragraphs from articles 13, 14, 15 and 16 of the Church Constitution:

13.1 Candidates shall satisfy the requirements listed in 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1 and 1 Peter 5. Additionally, and to ensure better objectivity in selection, they shall fulfill the following conditions:

13.1.1 Demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt, and over a sufficient length of time, that they are faith-ful and mature members of the Body of Christ and faithfully devote themselves to personal prayer and study of the Word.

13.1.2 Attend public worship and prayer meetings of the Church regularly unless prevented from doing so for valid reasons.

13.1.3 Make a careful study of the Constitution, in particular the Principle and Practice of Biblical Separation and fully accept it.

13.1.4 Be willing to participate whole-heartedly in the ministry of the Church, with the Pastor, and to devote time, talents and resources in such ministry which shall include serving in the various departments of the Church.

13.2 The Board of Elders shall nominate candidates for election to the Church Session. Nominations may also be submitted by any member of the congregation to the Board of Elders.

13.3 Proposals for election to the Church Session shall be carefully screened by the Board of Elders to ensure that only those with the essential qualifications and who are in full agreement with the doctrinal stand of the Bible-Presbyterian Church, in particular with its Principle and Practice of Biblical Separation, are considered for nomination and election to the Church Session.

13.4 Elected Elders/Deacons/Deaconesses shall be formally installed into office at a Service of Consecration to be held on an appropriate Lord's Day soon after election.

14.1 The Pastor and/or Associate Pastor/Assistant Pastor shall be elected by the members of the Church at the Annual Congregational Meeting by a majority of the votes cast and shall hold office for a term of three years but shall be eligible for re-election. The Pastor shall be the Chairman of the Session.

15.1 The number of Elders in the Church shall not be more than one to every 50 communicant members. Where there are less than 50 communicant members, the Church shall have one Elder.

15.2 A candidate for election to the office of an Elder shall be a Deacon of not less than six years' standing, duly nominated by the Board of Elders and elected by a majority vote of the members of the Church at the Annual Congregational Meeting, save that the Board of Elders may in its absolute discretion, shorten the qualifying period.

15.3 Upon election, an Elder shall hold office for a term of three years and may be eligible for re-election.

16.1 The number of Deacons shall not be more than six or one to every 40 communicant members, whichever is the greater number.

16.2 The number of Deaconesses shall not be more than four or one to every 100 communicant members whichever is the greater number.

16.3 A Deacon or Deaconess shall be elected by a majority vote of the members of the Church at the Annual Congregational Meeting, provided the candidate shall have attained 21 years of age at the time of nomination.

16.4 Upon election, a Deacon or Deaconess shall hold office for a term of three years and may be eligible for re-election.

19.4 The quorum of the Congregational Meetings in the election of the Pastor, Associate Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses and in the amendments of the Constitution shall be a simple majority of all resident voting communicant members in good standing.

19.7 The election of the Pastor, Associate Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses shall be by secret ballot.

19.8 The election of Session members, and decisions on all other businesses of the Church shall only be adopted by a majority vote of those present except the amendments to the Constitution which shall not be adopted without a two-thirds majority vote of those present.

Please note the following dates in the election process:

Nominations Open: 27 February 2005 

Nominations Close: 20 March 2005

Approved Nominees Announced: 10 April 2005

Election: 24 April 2005

May we all be in much prayer, that God will bless our church with good leadership.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25