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

1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (KJV)

Titus 1:5-13

5For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; (KJV)