By Pastor Bob Myers
Covenant stands in need of more elders! And we need your help!
We need your input in recognizing new leaders that will help us carry out Christ’s calling.
One of the greatest challenges of a growing church is providing care and connection for the spiritual growth of every single person who walks through our doors. Whenever I hear that someone “slipped through the cracks”, that someone suffered alone, that someone tried to find connection and relationships or a path to help them grow but left with that desire unmet, it cuts me like a knife.
But it also makes me want to do better. I know that all of our leaders at Covenant feel that way.
We are not only charged by Christ to care for each other as members, but to care for each person who walks through our doors and to care for those in our community who live without Christ and the hope of the gospel. It’s a God-sized task!
As Covenant has grown in size, we readily admit, even with the best of intentions, we’ve struggled and sometimes failed.
We long since passed the size of congregation that can be cared for by one or even several pastors. Even with excellent elders who are gifted and have great hearts for caring for people, we realize the majority of shepherding takes place through relationships that are often formed in our small groups that turn out to be spiritually consequential friendships. The truth is that we are all called to love, pray for, support, encourage and serve one another. Every member has that privilege and responsibility. Caring for one another is one of the ways we become more like Christ and grow up spiritually.
At Covenant, our elders select a smaller community of elders to serve on our Elder Board. This is the way Covenant is governed, and it frees the rest of our elders to be able to devote themselves to serving in shepherding ministries, serving on ministry teams or leading groups.
Currently seven elders serve on Covenant’s Elder Board with rotating terms to allow that board to refresh its representation of the congregation by welcoming new members to serve in this important role. The members of the current board are Brad Brautigam, Glenn Longmuir, Greg Michael, Sam Totaro, Duane Smulling, Galen Burleigh and Jon Gindhart. As the Lead Pastor, I also serve on the Board, while Rob Bloss, our Executive Pastor, serves as an ex-officio member. Our other elders are Bruce McMordie, Dave Drake, Doug Wesney, Jim Self, J.D. Lyzinski, Karl Kimball, Kevin Sheetz, Larry Rankin, Mark Pappas and Matt Toll. These elders serve with a focus on shepherding and discipleship. These servants encourage and build up others in their daily life of seeking to love God and others. They represent Christ in welcoming new members, providing pastoral support in crisis, or intervening when a member has been overtaken by a sin that is out of step with their profession of faith in Christ.
Right now the span of care is too great for our elders to be effective. We are working to press shepherding out to a number of existing and new ministry teams. But the truth is, we also need MORE elders. More elders will allow us to reconfigure the lists of people who are assigned to each elder. Our goal is to assign each elder a more manageable number of people to know and care for. Improving our ability to care for people is a major way that we can prepare for anticipated growth following the opening of our new building in the fall.
We are confident that God has provided the pool of new elders within our existing membership, but we need your help in identifying them. Who has demonstrated the qualities and characteristics of an elder? Who do you think might be willing and available to commit themselves to the preparation needed to serve in this significant capacity?
Please click here to download a full explanation of Covenant Church’s process and the job description of elders. This is a link to a nomination form to be submitted to our nominating committee. You will also be able to pick up this material at the Information Center this weekend. We need your input and help in finding more elders in this time of significant expansion at Covenant Church.
Our nominating committee is: Marybeth Dalessandro, Sue Lee, Sarah Renz, Karl Kimball, Glenn Longmuir Galen Burleigh, Doug Wesney.
Please, let’s have everyone pray for this process, and as you pray, as you read our summary of the Biblical requirements for elders, I pray the Lord will bring many specific people to mind.
May God direct us in this important task!
For the Elder Board,
Pastor Bob Myers