officer nominations 

The Apostle Paul teaches us that the desire to serve as an officer in the church is a worthy ambition. He heartily endorses it, but he then explains in 1 Timothy 3 the demanding requirements of being an elder or deacon. So, the desire to be a spiritual leader in the church is a good thing, but not everyone is qualified to serve as an officer. Those who aspire to office in the church must meet the highest standards, and must be examined and tested (1 Timothy 3:15). Officer nominations and elections are not about popularity or status in the world. Instead, leadership in the kingdom of God is about godliness, servant-heartedness, and spiritual maturity. Both offices of elder and deacon are perpetual—that is, for life, unless extraordinary circumstances allow or call for the dissolution of one’s office.

The Offices of Elder and Deacon

Elder: The office of elder is one of spiritual oversight and government of the church (Titus 1:5ff, 1 Tim. 3:1-7). In the NT elders are sometimes referred to as shepherds (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-3) because they are charged with the care and nurture of the church just as a shepherd cares for his flock. Elders are also responsible for the teaching ministry of the church (1 Timothy 5:17, 18). Thus, elders must both understand God’s word, and be able effectively to minister in the body as one who encourages, edifies and when needed, confronts and rebukes. 

Deacon: The office of deacon is one of service, extending mercy and sympathy to those in need, especially within the church. The work of a deacon is seen in Acts 6:1-6 as men were chosen to minister to the physical needs within the church. The spiritual nature of the deacon’s service of mercy is no less vital than the elder’s rule; the health of the church is inseparably tied to both offices. The duty of the office is fourfold: (1) to allow for elders to focus on the ministry of the word and prayer; (2) to care for the physical needs of the members in a local church; (3) to oversee the stewardship of a local churches physical and financial resources; and (4) to be pacesetters and strategists in the ministry of service.

Procedure for Electing Officers

1. Nomination: In order to be considered by the session, a man must be nominated by at least two members of the congregation.

2. Session Approval of Nominees: After the nomination period is complete, the session of Sand Harbor Presbyterian Church will consider those nominated for elder/deacon for their readiness to serve as an officer.   

3. Training and Examination: After receiving approval by the session, nominees will undergo a training process that is structured and overseen by the pastor. After training is complete, the nominee will then be examined by the session.  

4. Election, Ordination and Installation: Once a nominee is approved by the session, they will be presented to the church at a congregational meeting. Simple majority vote is required to elect the officers. New Officers are elected, ordained and installed according to the procedures in the PCA Book of Church Order, Chapter 24.

Qualifications for Church Officers

Elders and deacons must meet and maintain the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 (elder) and 1 Timothy 3:8-13 (deacon). Before you nominate a man for elder/deacon, please prayerfully ensure that they possess the biblical qualifications. 

Qualifications of a Deacon

A Believer: He must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and repent of his sins.  

Dignified: He must have seriousness of purpose, and self-respect in conduct. The office requires an attitude of reverence. 

Above Reproach: His life must be a good example of moral purity to the flock. He must be living in such a way that no one can point a finger at him for ungodly habits, character flaws, or actions.

Marital Fidelity: If married, he must be a loving and faithful husband; if single, he must be above reproach in his relationships with women.

Good Manager of His Household: If there are children in his household, they must be clearly  and respectfully under his leadership and discipline. He must be diligently discipling his children in the truths of God’s Word. 

Not Gossipers: He and his wife must hold knowledge of people’s needs in confidence. They must be honest and trustworthy, and show integrity in their speech.  

Not an Addicted to much wine: He must not abuse or be enslaved to any substance that inhibits his self-control, brings personal shame, and defames the church of Christ. Instead, he must exemplify moderation and temperance.

Free From the Love of Money: He must not be greedy, but generous with what the Lord has given him.

Qualifications of an Elder

A Believer: He must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and repent of his sins.  

Above Reproach: His life must be a good example of moral purity to the flock. He must be living in such a way that no one can point a finger at him for ungodly habits, character flaws, or actions.

Marital Fidelity: If married, he must be a loving and faithful husband; if single, he must be above reproach in his relationships with women. 

Good Manager of His Household: If there are children in his household, they must be clearly  and respectfully under his leadership and discipline. He must be diligently discipling his children in the truths of God’s Word.

Hospitable: He displays “love for strangers.” He is warm to newcomers in the church, and welcomes people into his home.  

Lover of Good: The candidate must be a lover of those things which are disposed toward a beneficial impact upon people. His values must be consistent with biblical values.

Sensible: He must have a serious and realistic appraisal of life. The candidate must be able to make sound judgments and be discerning. 

Just: He must be righteous in all his judgments. He must not show partiality or favoritism.   

Self-controlled: His passions and desires must be self-controlled as he lives daily under the control of the Holy Spirit who indwells him. The candidate must not over-indulge himself in any area of life.

Able to Teach: He must know the Word of God, be able to communicate it, and refute those who oppose it. In the PCA, an elder must sincerely affirm that the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms (our denominations doctrinal standards), faithfully reflect what the Word of God teaches. 

Gentle, not Quarrelsome: He must have an “even” temper, and a reasonable and teachable spirit. The candidate must not be dominated by self-interests or easily provoked. He must not be prone to fighting and arguing.  

Free from the love of money: He must not be greedy, but generous with what the Lord has given him.  

Not a New Convert: He must not be a new Christian, but must possess Christian maturity.

Good Reputation Outside the church: His coworkers and neighbors must view him as a man of character.

I have prayerfully considered the qualifications for the officers in Christ’s church and would like to offer the following nomination(s):

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