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Congregational Nominating Committee Overview

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Use this slideshow to help orient your Nominating Committee. It includes insights from Scripture, the Reformed Tradition and the PC(USA) Book of Order.

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Congregational Nominating Committee Overview

  1. 1. NOMINATING COMMITTEES Seeking to discern those whom God is calling to leadership
  2. 2. What is the Nominating Committee G-2.0401 • Ruling elders and deacons are men and women elected by the congregation from among its members. The nomination and election of ruling elders and deacons shall express the rich diversity of the congregation’s membership and shall guarantee participation and inclusiveness (F-1.0403). Ruling elders and deacons shall be nominated by a committee elected by the congregation, drawn from and representative of its membership. • Congregations may provide by their own rule for a congregational nominating committee, provided that the committee shall consist of at least three active members of the congregation, and shall include at least one ruling elder who is currently serving on the session. • The pastor shall serve ex officio and without vote. • When elections are held, full opportunity shall always be given to the congregation for nomination from the floor of the congregational meeting by any active member of the congregation. A majority of all the active members present and voting shall be required to elect.
  3. 3. What does the Nominating Committee Do? • The nominating committee is elected by the congregation to discern God’s will with respect to who is being called by God through the voice of the congregation to the ordered ministries of the church. • Ruling elders and deacons shall be elected to serve terms of no more than three years on the session or board of deacons, and may be eligible for reelection according to congregational rule. However, no ruling elder or deacon shall be eligible to serve more than six consecutive years, and a ruling elder or deacon who has served six consecutive years shall be ineligible for election to the same board for at least one year. Election shall be to classes as nearly equal in number as possible, with the term of only one class ending each year. The presbytery may, upon written request and by majority vote, grant a congregation a waiver of this limitation on terms. G-2.0404
  4. 4. What the Nominating Committee Does Not Do? • It does not decide the future direction of the church. • It does not simply “fill” spots. • It does not control power. • It is not trying to answer the question: “Who will take the Job? Rather the Nominating Committee is asking: Who is God calling to serve in this office”
  5. 5. Biblically What is an Elder? • The office of Elder is the oldest active office in the church. As the Apostles founded new churches, they appointed Elders to lead the church. An Elder Today is Called to: • Encourage the congregation in the worship of God. • Equip the church for Mission in the World. • Comfort and care for the sick with special care for the poor and oppressed. (Board of Deacons may also do this work.) • Actively serve the higher-level Councils of the church. • Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly
  6. 6. Thoughts on the authority and importance of Elders From the Book Selected to Serve (Pg 7) • In the local church, the session- with the exception of certain rights and privileges granted to the congregation and the pastor- has virtual oversight of all spiritual, educational and practical activities of the church. From the Book Spiritual Leadership For Church Leaders (pg ix) • “Yet Elders and Deacons if present, are still the backbone of any Presbyterian church, and few churches rise far above the level of leadership of their lay leaders”
  7. 7. Elders and Deacons are Spiritual Leaders From Spiritual Leadership For Church Leaders • What is a spiritual Leader? A spiritual leader leads others to seek and do God’s will.
  8. 8. The Session is not: A training ground for new members or new Christians, for gossips or people who want to control others; elders must be those who are spiritually and psychologically mature and are more concerned for the health of the church and the work of God’s kingdom then they are for their own positions or reputations. Selected to Serve pg. 7
  9. 9. An Elder Must Be: G-2.0301 Ruling Elder Defined As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with ministers of the 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, including ecumenical relationships. When elected by the congregation, they shall serve faithfully as members of the session. When elected as commissioners to higher councils, ruling elders participate and vote with the same authority as ministers of the Word and Sacrament, and they are eligible for any office.
  10. 10. Gifts and Requirements; G-20104 a. To those called to exercise special functions in the church—deacons, ruling elders, and ministers of the Word and Sacrament—God gives suitable gifts for their various duties. In addition to possessing the necessary gifts and abilities, those who undertake particular ministries should be persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world. They must have the approval of God’s people and the concurring judgment of a council of the church. b. b. Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (F-1.02). The council responsible for ordination and/or installation (G-2.0402; G-2.0607; G-3.0306) shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of ordered ministry. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W- 4.0404). Councils shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.
  11. 11. Discussion Question on Elders: What kind of personal characteristics and spiritual qualities do you think members should have before they are chosen to be elders?
  12. 12. Deacons • The title deacon comes from a word with roots in Greek history, diakoneo. In its most basic from it can mean “to serve,” “to wait on tables,” “to be slave.” • It is this concept that the early church adopted to describe the function of the compassionate, caring arm of Christian mission.
  13. 13. A Deacon Must Be G-2.0201 Deacon Defined • The ministry of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and service, sharing in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, those burdened by unjust policies or structures, or anyone in distress. Persons of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, sincere compassion, and sound judgment should be chosen for this ministry.
  14. 14. Gifts and Requirements; G-20104 a. To those called to exercise special functions in the church—deacons, ruling elders, and ministers of the Word and Sacrament—God gives suitable gifts for their various duties. In addition to possessing the necessary gifts and abilities, those who undertake particular ministries should be persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world. They must have the approval of God’s people and the concurring judgment of a council of the church. b. b. Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (F-1.02). The council responsible for ordination and/or installation (G-2.0402; G-2.0607; G-3.0306) shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of ordered ministry. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W- 4.0404). Councils shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.
  15. 15. Deacons Supervised by Session G-2.0202 Under Authority of the Session • Deacons may be individually commissioned or organized as a board of deacons. In either case, their ministry is under the supervision and authority of the session. Deacons may also be given special assignments in the congregation, such as caring for members in need, handling educational tasks, cultivating liberality in giving, collecting and disbursing monies to specific persons or causes, or overseeing the buildings and property of the congregation. Deacons shall assume other duties as may be delegated to them by the session, including assisting with the Lord’s Supper. (W-3.0414). • A congregation by a majority vote may choose not to utilize the ordered ministry of deacons. If the congregation has neither a board of deacons nor individually commissioned deacons, the function of this ordered ministry shall be the responsibility of the ruling elders and the session
  16. 16. From the Book Selected to Serve (Pg. 9) Deacons perform a very necessary function in the Presbyterian Church and represent the heart of what it means to be a Christian.
  17. 17. Discussion question on Deacons If Deacons are “the caring arm of the church,” what should you consider as you discern those who may be called as deacons?
  18. 18. • How many members? • What is the current rotation? Number of classes and length of term? • What members of their respective boards terms are ending? Are they eligible for re-election? • If they are eligible for re-election is this in the best interest of the congregation? (It should not be assumed that a person automatically serves multiple terms) WHAT IS THE CURRENT COMPOSITION OF YOUR SESSION AND DEACON BOARD?
  19. 19. • Surround yourselves with prayer. • Ordinarily members of the Nominating Committee are not eligible for nomination to active service? • Family members should not serve on the same board. • Diversity and inclusion must be honored. Having boards that represent different demographics and opinions is helpful in discernment. • Look beyond current leaders and long-term members. • Do not make assumptions about a person's willingness to serve or “how busy they are.” GENERAL BEST PRACTICES FOR NOMINATING COMMITTEES
  20. 20. • Pastors should provide an orientation and then let the committee work, only giving feedback when asked and appropriate. • Pastors should use care when influencing the nominating process as to avoid the appearance of impropriety. • Pastors should only voice concern about individuals if they are aware of a particular pastoral concern that may compromise the proposed candidate's ability to serve. • Pastors should remember that officers are selected by the congregation, and the congregation has the spiritual depth to discern the will of God. A WORD TO PASTORS
  21. 21. WORKS CITED Spiritual Leadership for Church Leaders Written By: Joan S. Gray Copyright 2009 Geneva Press, Louisville, KY ISBN-13: 978-0-664-50305-5 Selected To Serve, A Guide for Church Officers Written By: Earl S. Johnson, Jr. Copyright 2000 Geneva Press, Louisville, KY ISBN-10: 0-664-50165-6 The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Part II The Book of Order 2019-2021 Published by the Office of the General Assembly 100 Witherspoon Street Louisville, KY 40202-1396 Prepared for the Congregations of Tropical Florida Presbytery 1919 Southeast 5th Street Deerfield Beach, FL 33441 gmclean@tfpby.org

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