The qualifications for church officers are set out in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9. These passages emphasize qualities for men of both offices, Elder and Deacon. Additionally, Scripture provides other passages reminding us of the significance of having officers who meet these demands, both in personal character and faith: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7) and by virtue of the example they set: “I urge you, brothers, to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it.” (I Corinthians 16:16).
The qualifications for elder and deacon are listed by Paul in 1 Timothy and Titus 1. Generally and briefly, they are as follows.
1. He is “above reproach” (I Tim. 3:2), “blameless” (Tit. 1:6), with spiritual character.
2. He is “sincere” (I Tim. 3:8), “loves what is good” (Tit. 1:8).
3. He is “self-controlled…. disciplined” (Tit. 1:8), “not overbearing, not quick-tempered” (Tit. 1:7), “not quarrelsome” (I Tim. 3:3).
4. He is “not given to drunkenness” (I Tim. 3:3) with either alcohol or drugs.
5. He is “not a lover of money” (I Tim 3:3).
6. “He must be hospitable” (Tit. 1:8).
7. “He must manage his own family well” (I Tim. 3:4). Officers’ “wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything” (I Tim. 3:11). “His children obey him with proper respect” (I Tim. 3:4), and his “children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient” (Tit. 1:6).
8. He is firm in his faith, keeping “hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience” (I Tim. 3:9).
9. He has “a good reputation with outsiders” (I Tim. 3:7) able to bring honor to the Church.
10. He is “able to teach” (1 Tim.3:2) – a qualification for elder only.
11. He “loves the Church” (Eph. 5:25) and is committed to the purpose to Know, Grow, Show forth the Love of Christ.
The officer nomination and election process involves the following steps:
Nomination. This nomination form details the qualifications of office and how to place a name into nomination. Nominations can be made until August 28th.
Evaluation. Each nominee will be evaluated initially on Christian experience, personal character, and family management (based on qualifications laid out in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9), plus his willingness to serve.
Training. Each nominee, (upon passing the initial examination) is required to attend training on the system of doctrine, government, and discipline contained in the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America, and the duties of the office.
Examination. Each nominee (who has completed training) will be examined on all above stated topics and his willingness to give assent to the questions for ordination.
Election. The Session will report back to the congregation those nominees found eligible for election to office. Officers will be elected in a congregational meeting called for that purpose on December 11th
Ordination and Installation. All nominees who have been duly elected will be ordained and installed as required by the Session in accord with the Book of Church Order.
Term of Service. Officers serve a period of three years, beginning the year of their installation.