Mining for Gold and Diamonds
I realize few if any in our congregation have ever been involved in mining. But I want to make a point that may seem absurd – until I make the connection I’m trying to make. In mining, notice that it is not creating a valuable mineral (gold, diamonds, copper, etc.). It is only seeking to find what already exists. The mining activity does not cause the gold or precious stones to come into existence; it only seeks to uncover what is hidden but real.
My point is that in our upcoming officer nomination process, we are asking you to be involved in the mining. The goal is to recognize what already exists. We are looking for people who are already doing the kind of work that spiritual leaders do. In other words, please do not nominate someone as a compliment or as an encouragement that they will do better someday beyond how they currently are living. The purpose of our planned officer training is not to jumpstart someone’s spiritual life. We need men who are mature enough to help develop the spiritual lives of others in our congregation and beyond.
Character is a top priority. A biblical term frequently used is “above reproach,” that someone’s integrity is so clear that no credible accusations can be brought against him. It isn’t hard to see why this comes first. What we do in selecting officers will shape the character of Trinity (and even our daughter churches) for decades to come. So please reflect carefully on whom you would nominate.
These are pre-requisites that need to be true already of the person you would nominate:
1) They have proven their ability to work with others in a mature and loving way.
2) They are committed to the Trinity Mission and Vision.
3) They line up theologically with our denomination, the PCA.
4) Elder nominees currently are leading, or have successfully lead, a Trinity Community Group.
5) Deacon nominees currently are showing, or have effectively shown, compassion for the needy.
Still, these pre-requisites are not enough. Do they show a willingness or a desire to serve? 1 Peter 5 tells us that leaders should serve willingly, and 1 Timothy 3 commends that it is good if a man seeks to be an elder. Passages like these teach us that a leader should be motivated.
Next, pray. Our Heavenly Father has promised to give us wisdom if we ask. Pray for discernment. Pray for the person(s) you would nominate; ask God to work willingness in their heart (or decisiveness in declining). The bottom line is a clear conscience – can you nominate someone with a sense of peace and assurance?
Things to pray for (again):
– Gratitude. Give thanks to the Lord for His power and grace at work here at Trinity and in our daughter churches. And thank Him for the countless people who serve as leaders – in a wide array of ministries!
– Wisdom. Read James 1:5 and ask the Father to give us all wisdom as we discern who is most ready to help our congregation.
– Joy. Read Matthew 9:37-38, and rejoice that Jesus knows that we need workers and that He has given us a strategy for what to do about it!
Tim Rice, Lead Pastor & Director of Church Planting