Beloved fellow members of Church on Mill:
Eight years ago, the Leadership Team at Church on Mill started scouring the New Testament for how the early church functioned, and compared their findings to what our church was doing. One item that stood out was that the individual churches in the New Testament had multiple elders or pastors, many of whom were selected from the church body and not imported from outside. Our church tended to rely on paid staff, with a nod to shared leadership in the use of a Leadership Team, but not giving full pastoral responsibilities to those team members. The COM leaders at that time decided to pray and teach what the Bible said, and then allow the church to grow into a more biblical view of church leadership and membership.
This resulted in a change in the way our members thought about leadership. Two years ago, the church voted to embrace becoming a congregationally governed, elder-led church by amending the church bylaws. We established a Transition Team to assist our Lead Pastor in seeking potential elder candidates. Those candidates went through a training process and were examined closely for their character, ability to teach God’s Word accurately, and calling. Many candidates participated in this process, which the Bible commends as good. But being an Elder is a calling given by God, not man, and this process helped the candidates and the Transition Team better discern what God’s will might be in this.
After much prayer and scrutiny, the Transition Team is pleased to present three candidates to Church on Mill for consideration as elders: Todd Diehl, Randy Hagler, and Tad Skinner. We have reviewed their character, commitment, and calling. We believe they meet the biblical qualifications for Eldership outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4. These are not necessarily the only men within our body whom God will call as elders, but this is the first group we now recommend happily.
We encourage you now to prayerfully consider these men, and whether they are qualified to assume this important role of shepherding within our church body. They are not perfect; in fact, they are sheep being shepherded by Jesus Christ along with the rest of us. But God desires that we submit to earthly leaders within our church body as His designated under-shepherds. If you have issues with any of these men which would be an obstacle to yielding to their authority (Hebrews 13:17), we encourage you to discuss that with them. And if you are aware of issues that would disqualify them according to biblical principles, we encourage you to discuss that with members of the Transition Team. This is not a competition in any way. Each candidate should be considered individually as to whether he should be given this responsibility.
On Sunday, December 3, we will vote as a church on whether each of these men should serve as an Elder. Ballots will be accepted until 12:30 pm. If the church confirms that these men serve, they will be installed as elders that evening in a Members Meeting in a celebration of God’s faithfulness in providing leadership for His church.
Here, you can find more information on the ministry of elders and the qualifications of elders, as well as the packet handed out at the Members Meeting and our constitution and bylaws. If you’d like to listen to the recording of the October 29th Members Meeting, it is available here.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you in this process, and thanks to God for assembling this body and providing for its needs!
The Transition Team