Moving from Deacons to Deacons and Elders at ECCC
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 was not just any Wednesday – it was the Wednesday when East Claremont for the first time elected Elders and Deacons. The election went of smoothly with all 3 Elder-candidates and 10 Deacon-candidates being approved and accepted as suitable for these roles.
I would like to thank the Congregation and our leaders for diligently walking this road together. The “Dream Team” brought its final report to the AGM in 2015. Under the section “Disciples who grow” one of the Key Activities was the “Review the leadership structure of ECCC”. Over the last two years we have carefully layered the teaching and discussion in different forums: preaching, Community Groups, church forum discussion, Deacons meeting, Leaders Forum, one-on0one conversations. Not everyone has agreed at every point, but everyone has had the opportunity to be heard and to hear others.
We are still on a journey. Although we have implemented this new leadership structure, nothing is set in stone. Please feel free to engage me or Gloria with any concerns or positive feedback that you have. The draft document on Elders and Deacons that we accepted at our church meeting will continue to be refined. God willing, we will propose a revised constitution at the 2018 AGM that will make allowance for these two rolls in our church.
I am excited by the potential of this new structure to develop the ministry of ECCC. For many years we have been saying that we believe in the priesthood of all believers (1Peter 2:9-10). This is a real and meaningful application of that ministry principle. I am looking forward to sharing some of the more spiritual responsibilities of ECCC among the Elders. I am also anticipating more effective discussion and guidance for the congregation as we share the business of the Deacons (pre-AGM 2017) between the Elders and Deacon (post-AGM 2017).
Normally the Deacons and Elders will have separate meetings, but for the first two meetings (September and November) the two groups will meet together. We will use this time to build a sense of unity and connection among the Elders and Deacons, as well as discuss and clarify how the leadership and oversight responsibilities are distributed between the two groups. It would be a catastrophe if this new structure allowed division to creep into ECCC. I feel that it is of the utmost importance that we have clear role distinction, open lines of communication and a deep sense of togetherness in the task of offering leadership to the Congregation.
So, please would you continue to pray:
- Pray for the four new Elders – Alex H, Mike B, Rory A, Grant P.
- Pray for the ten Deacons in their new role – Gloria L, Bryan W, Chris S, Alan J, Sydney W, Tubby A, Beryl F, Herbert M, Linda H, Steve P
- Ask for God’s guidance over the first two meetings as we discuss the distribution of responsibilities
- Pray that God would help us to establish and maintain a good working relationship between the Elders and Deacons
- Ask God to be with the whole congregation as we continue to become accustomed to this change in our leadership structure; and most of all, that God will be glorified in our church as we all take up a priesthood of all believers ministry in ECCC.