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Latest on Non-Staff Elders

March 17 2014 at 8:03 pm 2 Comments

Church members: If you’re tracking your e-mail and this blog, you’ve seen some recent communication from me about the pastors retreat (see blog posts one, two and three). It was a fruitful time where the Lord met us and refreshed us. Thank you for praying!

One of our activities was evaluating the many recommendations we received for Non Staff Elders. As I shared earlier on this blog and in church this past Sunday, members of the congregation submitted 82 recommendations all told, and of those, 29 men, for a variety of reasons, asked not to continue in the process. That left 53 names for us to consider in light of the biblical qualifications, and we have invited 23 men to continue with the process.

We have already met with most of the 23 men and their wives and talked about the next steps of evaluation and training. They will let us know shortly whether they have decided to proceed or not.

As a pastoral team, we wanted to let you know we are not planning to publish the names of the 23 candidates at this time, as they are still deciding whether or not to pursue the process. Our heart is for them to be able to wait on the Lord without the pressure that might come from a lot of people inquiring. At the same time, we have encouraged the candidates to make their own decisions about whom to keep informed, whether they decide to continue or drop out of the process.

I want to invite you to pray for these men and their wives as they put this decision before the Lord. Please pray for God’s guidance and wisdom in this moment that is very important for their lives and for Covenant Life Church. We are grateful for God’s grace, goodness and help as we take these next steps to identify the men he is calling as shepherds for this flock!

The candidates who decide to pursue eldership will spend the next several months in the personal evaluation and training process. Then in August and September we will present them to you for your input, consideration, and affirmation.

Thank you again for your prayers and active participation!

Mark Mitchell

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Dear Pastor
Please enlighten me the necessity of non staff elders.  We do have good pastors in church to take care of God’s sheep. Thus I think additional staff would add burden in terms of training, monitoring, supervision, etc. Will they be schooled just as like pastors? Because they must be founded by the word of God so they can be as good shepherds as our pastors.
Thank you so much and God bless you.
With love in Christ

By manny fookson on 03/18/2014

Dear Manny,

Thanks for writing with this question about elders. I apologize that it’s taken so long to get a response.

We don’t presume that leadership of local churches should always included both staff and non-staff elders. But we do believe that this is what’s best for our church at this time. I’m glad you’ve been encouraged by the ministry of our current elders. But those men very much feel their need for more elders to join them and participate in the pastoral leadership of our large church. Therefore, we want to identify the men God has called to this task based on the biblical qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 2, and ensure they have the training and support they’ll need to serve well as ministers of the Word. We’re doing that work of identification and training right now. Please pray for all those involved. 

We’ve posted a summery of teachings and resources where we’ve tried to explain why and how we are bringing on non-staff elders. I trust those resources will address your questions much more thoroughly than I’m able to here. Here is a link to that post: 

If you’d like to talk more, I’d be more than happy to. Feel free to email me at Thanks again for showing an interest in these things.


By Kevin Rogers on 04/16/2014
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