Elder Shepherding & Nominations


Dear Church Family,

I’m excited to share a couple of things with you today, both of which have to do with the elders’ desire to know and care for you well. This is a long email, but it talks about two things that I think its important for you all to know. 

Welcome to the Fold

Since May of 2022, the Session has been engaged in a conversation about the New Testament’s instruction to elders to shepherd the “flock” under their care (see Acts 20:28 & 1 Peter 5:1-3). We have seen that fundamental to this kind of oversight is knowing the people entrusted to our care – not just their names and faces, but their needs and concerns. So this Fall, we committed to know every household under our care in an intentional and personal way. 

Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time practicing this among ourselves. We’ve asked each other questions and prayed for one another. We’ve done some training. And we’ve talked about the how question – how do 26 elders get to know a congregation of over 500 households? 

All of that leads me to this exciting news! We have recently divided the congregation into 26 shepherding folds, each one under the oversight of a ruling elder. If you’re a member of the church on the active role, you are in one of these folds! Some of you might know your shepherding elder well, and some of you might not know him/her at all, but our goal is that in the months to come you will know each other better. To that end, you should expect to hear from a shepherding elder in the weeks or months ahead, and we hope you will use this opportunity to share with that elder any and every way that the elder, and the church, can be praying for you, caring for you and encouraging you. 

Your shepherding elder is not taking the place of your pastors or of any of the other people and ministries at the church! Rather, the shepherding elder’s purpose is to know you. Complementing the work that is already being done by pastors, elders, deacons, Stephen Ministers, Community Groups, Caring Presence (the list goes on!), these folds will help us ensure that this entire congregation is fed, known, led and served. 

2023 Officer Nominations Now Open – Deadline May 12 

Even as we talk about the work of the elders, it is time once again for you to nominate qualified men and women from our congregation for the offices of elder, deacon and trustee (nominate HERE). Over the last few years, we’ve seen a decreasing number of nominations from the congregation. We’d love that to change that trend this year, and we can really benefit from your active participation in this. Eligible candidates will meet the New Testament character qualifications, and will have been active members in the church for at least one year by time of election.

In years past, nominations have been received by the Nominating Committee, which then seeks to present from those nominations candidates for election at a congregational meeting in September. After they are elected, those officers are trained for their respective roles. 

Moving forward, the congregation will still make nominations, which will still be received and vetted by the Nominating Committee (now called the Leadership Development Committee). However, instead of inviting men and women to serve in the offices right away, the committee will invite a group of men and women into a multi-month discernment process*. During that time, these men and women will meet regularly to learn about the biblical offices, to receive training in their responsibilities, to study and discuss our church’s theology and mission, and to discern God’s gifting and call in their lives. At the end of that period, the Leadership Development committee, in conversation with participants, will discern who is being called to the offices at that time. Those men and women will be brought to you for a congregational vote. 

We think this change will help the nominating committee to know better the people who are put before the congregation for a vote. We think it will help us identify and elect qualified men and women who, for a variety of reasons, don’t tend to get nominated in our current system. We’re sure it will help new officers be better prepared for the roles they are accepting. We envision it as a step towards a larger goal of identifying, developing and electing the next generation of leaders and officers at Signal Pres.

Our annual meeting to elect officers will now be in December, as opposed to September. At that meeting, we will no longer be asking for nominations from the floor. In the 8 years that I have been here, no one has ever been nominated from the floor. Still, the reason that we will not ask for those any longer is not a result of the fact that it doesn’t happen but of the fact that those presented will have already gone through about 6 months of training and discernment. Your time to nominate men and women for the offices is NOW! Please do that here through May 12! 

If you have any questions about either of these ways in which we are tryin to care for you well, I’m always willing to talk through those with you. 

Grace & Peace,

*Those who have previously served in the office would have a conversation with the Leadership Development committee as to whether this is the right time for them to serve another term. 





M-F // 8:30 AM-5 PM



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