“The elders shall be recognized by the congregation as the ruling body of this Church” (Article III, Sec. 1A, p. 11). This is consistent with God’s design for Elder rule in the N.T. It also highlights the importance of having godly men who meet the qualifications for leadership outlined in I Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. Our By-laws strongly emphasize the need for such qualified men.
It is our desire to ensure that Millersville Bible Church will always have well-qualified elders. Many churches suffer as a direct result of unqualified leadership. Consequently, a thorough leadership evaluation and training process must be provided to safeguard this ministry. The process will focus, as does the Scripture, on areas of character, conduct, and competence. The basis will be the above mentioned Scriptures, as well as relevant points from our Church Constitution and By-laws. The process will involve four sequential phases:
Introduction, Evaluation, Training, Selection.
The Introduction phase will provide an overview of biblical eldership to all who desire to understand it. The Evaluation phase is designed to determine a man’s readiness to enter actual elder training. A written test will be used to assist in this phase (see below). The Training phase will involve at least seven basic requirements:
- To complete a study of the qualifications in I Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9, conducted by one of the elders.
- To complete a study of the doctrinal statement of M.B.C. This may involve individual assignments to strengthen areas of weakness (see Titus 1:9).
- To complete a study of the Constitution and By-laws of this Church.
- To complete a study of the Biblical Model for Church Ministry based on Ephesians 4:11-16 and other related Scriptures.
- To complete an exercise on Bible study and teaching methods (I Timothy 3:2 “. . . able to teach”).
- To faithfully fulfill ministry needs at Millersville Bible Church for at least one year.
- To be examined in all the above areas by the nominating committee of the Board (Article III, Section 8A, 4B, 1C, p.13). (I Timothy 3:10, “Let these also first be tested; then let them serve . . .”)
The Selection phase will be conducted by the existing elders in accordance with the procedures outlined in our Constitution and By-laws.