Sunday, we have the joy of commissioning Mike Wiesema and Matt Vent to serve as elders in this church. They each begin a three year term this month.
The New Testament is rich with teachings about the role, requirements, responsibilities, and significance of elders in the church. For example, Paul exhorted the elders in one church, saying,
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
Similarly, Peter writes,
“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:1–5)
On Sunday, as we commission Matt and Mike to shepherd the flock here at Redeemer Community Church, they will publically make 8 commitments, and we as a church body will be asked two questions as well, before we lay on hands and pray for them.
Here are the commitments.
- Do you trust in Christ alone for salvation and acceptance with God, rejoicing in the love of the Father, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit?
- Do you endeavor to live a life worthy of the gospel in private and in public, setting an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity?
- Do you resolve to pursue humility before the elders and the whole congregation by striving for unity, inviting input, counting others more significant than yourself, boasting in nothing except the cross of Christ, and acknowledging your weaknesses that the power of Christ might be displayed in you?
- Do you promise to always guard the centrality of Jesus Christ in Redeemer Community Church, keeping the teaching anchored in the gospel message, as revealed in the Scriptures?
- Do you promise that you will not shrink back from declaring the whole counsel of God, but will feed the flock by accurately and faithfully handling the word of truth, teaching, and exhorting and reproving the church of God with love and patience?
- Do you promise that you will labor to equip the saints for the work of ministry, and seek to entrust the gospel message to other faithful men who will be able to teach others also?
- Do you promise to devote yourself to the task of earnestly praying for the ministry and members of Redeemer Community Church, that by the Spirit’s power we may bear much fruit?
- Do you promise, alongside your fellow elders, to lead this church body and shepherd this flock as one who will have to give an account before God?
- Do you, the congregation of Redeemer Community Church, receive and affirm _________ as an elder who is called to shepherd this flock? (If so, you may answer by saying, “We do.”)
- Do you, the congregation of Redeemer Community Church, intend to pray for, support, and serve with ____________ and the whole team of elders, for the sake of exalting Christ, building the church, and proclaiming the gospel? (If so, you may answer by saying, “We do.”)