Members of Wildwood have the privilege of nominating and electing individuals within our congregation to serve in a leadership capacity at our church. There are two offices of leadership in the Presbyterian Church in America (our denomination) to which candidates may be nominated and elected: elders and deacons.
The elder’s primary role is that of spiritually leading the congregation through shepherding, teaching, training, modeling, discipline, and sound administrative decision making. The elder is called a shepherd in scripture, and those nominated should demonstrate an ability to lead people in applying scriptural truth to their lives and modeling a Biblical lifestyle. “Ruling elders” are those elected in this manner, to aid in the governance and leadership of the church. Our pastors are technically called “teaching elders” in the PCA; they are seminary trained, examined and ordained by a PCA Presbytery, and gifted and called by God to vocational ministry. Click to view Pastor David's sermons on how to choose Elders and who they are and why they're needed.
The deacon’s primary role is that of serving the congregation. They minister to the spiritual needs of the flock by means of the physical: being alert to the material, financial, and practical concerns that arise in the congregation. They are also alert to broader needs within the community and have oversight over the care and use of church facilities.
In accordance with Scripture, both of these offices are open to qualified men only. However, the PCA does not exclude women from important leadership roles within the church and Wildwood has continuing ministry opportunities for women to lead and to serve.
THE NOMINATION PROCESS FOR THE ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Here you will find the steps for nominating and electing elders and deacons at Wildwood. Only members in good standing of Wildwood may nominate and vote for the election of elders or deacons. Being nominated for office is no guarantee of either being eligible for election to office or actually being elected to office.
Review the qualifications for office as set forth in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-4). Those who may be viewed as leaders in other walks of life or even in their vocation may or may not meet the biblical qualifications of a church officer.
In addition to Scripture, there are qualifications that must be met that are summarized in the PCA’s Book of Church Order. Wildwood Bylaws require at least one year of membership in order to be nominated to serve as an officer.
Please take the time to read both through the Scriptural and BCO qualifications. Then, prayerfully consider whether there may indeed be a man who has exhibited the qualifications for a given office and should be nominated to serve.
THE TRAINING OF THE CANDIDATES
The Session (current elders) will confirm the nominations, and nominees who receive at least three nominations will be asked if they accept. The nominees who choose to move forward will be interviewed by the Session and be required to participate in further training, which will consist of a number of meetings over a period of months to discuss the Biblical calling, qualifications for the respective offices and training for the same, and reformed theology and doctrine. During this period of time, a nominee may remove himself from the training process and consideration for office as he deems necessary. It is no shame to remove oneself this process.
THE EXAMINATION OF CANDIDATES
Nominees who complete the training will be examined by our Session. This exam will cover theology, doctrine, PCA polity, Wildwood vision and mission and practical considerations. The candidates approved by our Session to stand for election will be made public to the congregation prior to a congregational meeting for review before election.
THE ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The election of officers will occur at a congregational meeting. Officers are elected by a simple majority. Only members of Wildwood may vote. Soon after the election, a service of ordination and installation will be held.
Please pray for the men who might be called to lead our church in these offices. This process is a critical and important responsibility of Wildwood members. Leadership of the church is a weighty and serious calling, and these church officers are the Lord's tools for guiding and directing His people in this particular congregation. Let us, therefore, enter into this period with prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Please do not hesitate to contact any member of the session or pastoral staff if you have any questions.