Dear Members,

We are pleased to announce that six men have announced their willingness to serve this congregation as her elders. The men are Glenn Buffington, Charlie Dauphin, James Hinkle, Butch Jack, Jeff Kuhns, and Stan Whitfield.

Since two of these men are members of the resource committee, we have added additional members to the committee. Originally we planned to add to the committee by selecting former deacons, but all of our former deacons are either on the committee or are elder candidates. The committee was in agreement about selecting three well-known and respected men: Randy Fuqua, Jerry Hall, and Keith Oliver.

This group is now accepting your written and signed feedback about our elder candidates. Verbal comments or anonymous notes will be immediately dismissed. We are looking for both positive and negative comments about the qualification of these men to serve this congregation as elders in light of what scripture teaches in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. (Those passages are reprinted for your convenience on the back of this letter.) The deadline for your comments is Sunday evening, August 29th.

Your comments may be personally delivered to a member of this committee, placed in the locked box in the foyer, mailed to the attention of the “Eldership Resource Committee” at the church address, or emailed to comments@burnschurchofchrist.org.

After receiving your comment, we will follow up with you to clarify your comment. Then we will bring it to the attention of the candidate for his response. Your name will not initially be given to the candidate, but will be made known if necessary. “Minor” issues will be dealt with between the candidates and the commenters within the committee, but anything more difficult will be brought to the attention of the congregation for further comment.

It is our hope and prayer that the comments will quickly guide us to the will of God and the will of the church at Burns, and by Sunday, September 12, 2010, we will be ready to install these men as our elders.

Please continue to pray diligently for the church and for these men. They are to be commended for volunteering for service in this special capacity. Regardless of whether or not each man is selected, they all deserve honor for their willingness to serve.

Please be open and honest with us during the commenting phase. A positive or negative note about a man’s qualification is one of the most beneficial things you can do during this time.

If you have any questions about this process or about the qualifications, feel free to contact any member of the resource committee. We can provide more detailed notes or information for your consideration.

For Christ and His Church,

The Resource Committee

John Gabriel
Matthew Hiatt
Randy Fuqua
Jerry Hall
Keith Oliver

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV)

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:5-9 ESV)

PS> You can listen to our recent sermon on elder qualifications below.

Leaders in God's Flock: The Qualifications for Elders (1 Timothy 3:1-10, Titus 1:5-13)

Matthew Hiatt, August 1, 2010
Part of the Individual Lessons series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

This week's sermon is an in-depth study of the job description of the leaders of the church: elders. Let's look at what modern-day versions of the three main words--overseer, elder and shepherd--would mean to the church today.

Tags: church leaders, church organization, doctrine, elders

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1 Timothy 3:1-10

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. (ESV)

Titus 1:5-13

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, (ESV)