Picking Elders

It’s time to pick new elders. If someone on the nominating committee calls you and asks you to serve, and you ask what you have to do, they might go to that horrible laundry list in G-10.0102 that enumerates all the specific areas of responsibility held by Session.

But that’s the wrong place to start. It leads to Sessions full of people who want to balance the budget or fix the roof. Those are great people, and every pastor wishes their church had more of them who were willing and able to serve.

But you can’t start there. In this brief video, Gradye Parsons, the PC(USA) Stated Clerk, argues instead that the right place to start is G-6.0304, and specifically the following sentence:

It is the duty of elders, individually and jointly, to strengthen and nurture the faith and life of the congregation committed to their charge.

That’s what we’re here for, after all. It’s what distinguishes the church from every other type of business or civic or fraternal organization. We desperately need people who can balance budgets and fix the roof. But if we aren’t helping people grow in faith, there’s no point in being here.