By Ps Lee Kok Wah
Nomination of candidates for a “noble task” (1 Timothy 3:1, NIV) is now open to church members. This is the task of leading our church. I would like to share some questions and Bible passages that may help us reflect prayerfully on our duties to nominate and to elect candidates for the next Church Council.
What does our Church Constitution have to say about church government and members’ responsibility regarding this government?
First: “The final authority of the Church shall be vested in a General Meeting of Church members and subject to that authority, the Church shall be governed by the Church Council. The Church Council shall be composed of members elected by members of the Church” (from Section VI: Government).
Second: “To qualify as a candidate for election to the Church Council a member must be at least 21 years old and have been a member for at least 3 years and must satisfy the requirements for deacon or deaconess as laid down in the Bible ” (from Section VIII: Election of the Church Council).
What does the Bible have to say about qualifications for this office? Tony Morgan, writing for The Unstuck Group, asks seven good questions that we can reflect on if we are thinking of nominating someone.
Is the person committed to following the Lord Jesus Christ? (1 Timothy 3:6, 1 Timothy 5:22)
Does the person’s character honour our Lord? (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9)
Does the person’s conduct reflect devotion to Jesus? (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9)
Does the person have a good comprehension of God’s Word? (Titus 1:9, Colossians 1:28-29)
Does the person have the capacity for the role? (Acts 20:28, Hebrews 13:17)
Does the person model compassion for others? (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2, Ezekiel 34)
Is the person obeying God’s call to this role? (1 Peter 5:2, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1)
Sensing God’s calling, to church leadership or to any other work of service, is one thing. Obeying that calling is another. It has been said that God does not call the qualified; he qualifies the called. The Message translates Ephesians 4:11-13 this way: “He (Christ) handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.”
Since God calls and qualifies, why do we (and other churches) often face a shortage of workers? Obedience to God, although always good for us, is not easy. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself acknowledged this shortage when he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37-38).
Our church needs volunteers, called and qualified by God, to serve in the Church Council. We are grateful to God for providing such men and women in the present and past Councils. Our responsibility, as church members, is to recognize this need for leadership continuity as well as leadership renewal and to discern God’s calling for the right persons to serve in this season of our church.
Begin by praying through each question and Bible passage or verse listed above until nomination closes on 6th December 2020. If you have any question about this nomination process, feel free to ask any Council Member or Pastoral Staff. We will be happy to clarify.