On January 13, we presented Shelby Hosiner and Nathan Daves as elder candidates. This is a significant season for our church, and we want you to stay informed and participate in the process with us, so here are a few details to let you know how you can be part of it.

What are Elders?

In a previous message on elders from 1 Timothy 3, we gave this definition: “Elders are a plurality of qualified men who lead and care for the church.”

A few comments in explanation:

Elders are a group.

The New Testament consistently presents a pattern of plural leadership in the church. Our modern word for a church leader (pastor) is only used once in the New Testament (in Ephesians 4), and it is only translated “pastor” in some versions. The actual original Greek word is shepherd. Everywhere else church leaders are referred to as elders, overseers, or bishops, and they are always referred to in plurality.

Elders are men.

In keeping with the pattern of creation (Gen. 2; 1 Tim. 2.12-13) and the family (Eph. 5.22-25), elder is a role reserved for men. This is not an equality, value, or giftedness issue; there are a variety of service and leadership roles that women can and should flourish in. The issue is order. God has called men to lead in the home and in the church for the sake of order.

We know this is not the most popular idea in today’s culture, and to be fair, the Church as a whole, over the generations has played some part in oppressing women. We acknowledge all of that, but we cannot change the commands of God to suit our preferences. We must live within them, and when we realize what true headship and submission are, we realize that God has made a way for all who are called to submit (which is all of us at some point or another) to flourish when those in leadership over them fill their roles and responsibilities with integrity, grace, and humility. The problem has never been God’s standard. The problem is us.

Elders are qualified.

Elders are not selected because of their seniority, influence, business savvy, giving capacity, or connections. They are selected and approved primarily because of their character. 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 give extensive lists of qualifications for elders, almost all of which are character-based. Godly character is what qualifies men for eldership.

Elders are shepherds.

The church belongs to Jesus. He purchased it with his blood (Acts 20.28). Elders lead, feed, care for, and protect the church under the leadership of her Chief Shepherd, Jesus. This means equipping the saints for ministry and caring for them spiritually.

For a more in-depth look at elders, listen to our sermon What Are Elders?

The church belongs to Jesus. He purchased it with his blood (Acts 20.28). Elders lead, feed, care for, and protect the church under the leadership of her Chief Shepherd, Jesus.

The Process

The elder assessment and training process will include time for you to get to know and examine the candidates. We encourage you to invite them over or take them out to dinner and get to know them and their families a little. We invite you to examine their lives and compare them with what the Bible says about elders.

The training portion of this process will consist of reading, listening, and personal processing assignments to be completed by various dates, and monthly meetings to discuss these things. There will also be a number of assessment forms that they and others will complete.

There is also a hands-on training element to any process like this one, and we will be giving these men opportunities to sit in with us on meetings, counseling sessions, and other functions like this. We will also give them opportunities to lead, including teaching and leading groups and discussions.

Click here for an overview of the process.

What We’re Asking From You

We want you, the church, to be part of this process in a variety of ways. The two primary things we want you to do are to get to know Nathan and Shelby and their families and watch their lives and doctrine. Serving as an elder is a high calling with high accountability. If you have any questions or concerns, Bryan and I (Aaron) want to hear them.

We’re asking you to spend time with them, love on their families, take them to dinner, have them over for coffee, and genuinely get to know them. We aren’t looking for watchdogs, but as you observe their lives and talk with them, if you have any legitimate questions or concerns, we want to hear them.

We are also asking for grace. Leading God’s church and shepherding his people is a difficult and costly calling. As they prayerfully consider and prepare for this calling, we ask that you extend grace and kindness to them and to their families, not just for this season, but starting now and continuing into the future. “Let them [your leaders] do this [keep watch over your souls] with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13.17

We hope and pray this process will be a unifying and motivating season for us as a church family and that it will drive us toward Jesus, our Chief Shepherd, and stir our affections for him.

Two Things We Need You To Do

1) Come to Coffee and Dessert with the Elders on March 3rd.

During this night together we will have a structured question and answer time with Nathan and Shelby. In order to make the most of our time and to give them legitimate time to think and pray through their answers, we are asking that all questions be emailed to Aaron Clayton no later than February 8th. We will read through the questions and give them to Shelby and Nathan to work through, and we will ask and answer them in a conversational format on Sunday evening, March 3rd.

2) Fill out the online questionnaire.

We want to give you an opportunity to affirm Nathan and Shelby, as well as raise any questions you may have. In order to facilitate this, we have come up with a questionnaire that will help us to receive and organize your feedback.

Click here for the questionnaire.

The questionnaire will be the best way to give specific feedback, whether it be questions or affirmation. If you have any additional questions or feel the need to raise any concerns, please feel free to contact Bryan or me.

I also want to encourage you to pass on affirmation to these men personally. They wouldn’t be candidates for eldership if we didn’t feel like they were qualified, so our hope and assumption is that much, if not all, of the feedback about them will be positive.

Where there are questions or concerns, we certainly want to hear them, so please do not hold them back. On the other hand, where you see things worth commending, I want to strongly urge you to take this season to encourage and affirm Shelby and Kaysie and Nathan and Brooke in this calling and in their way of life.

Our Hope

Our hope over the next several months is that we will all get to know Nathan and Shelby and their families in a deeper way and that we will see the Lord’s grace and calling on their lives. We also hope and pray this process will be a unifying and motivating season for us as a church family and that it will drive us toward Jesus, our Chief Shepherd, and stir our affections for him.

One additional hope in all of this is that others will aspire to lead in a variety of ways including Missional Community leaders, team leaders, deacons, through serving, in families, and even some men who will aspire to eldership at Remedy.

As we move in this direction and take a step forward as a church, please be diligent to pray for these men, their families, for yourself, for Bryan and me, and for the present and future of Remedy Church. Ask that the Lord will grant us humility, courage, faithfulness, and love for him and each other as we live out the identity he has given us as individual believers and as a church. I am excited about this season. I hope you are, too. If there is anything we can do for you, please let us know.