Since Missio Dei Church didn’t start off with elders from the parent church, one of the questions that we have been struggling through is, “How do we identify your initial/founding elders with out a formal membership?” We have some very high convictions about the office of elder/pastor, so we want to make sure that Missio Dei has the right people, with the right training, in the right place, for the right reasons. Because of these convictions, Paul Vroom has created a Missional Elder Training and Discernment Course for elder candidates.
The training framework used in Missio Dei Church’s Missional Elder Training and Discernment Course came from the Acts 29 Boot Camp that Paul Vroom attended in 2006 and from the book Confessions of a Reformission Rev: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church by Mark Driscoll.
For Missio Dei Church the nomination ballot is one of the first of many steps in the selection of Elders to serve Missio Dei Church. Another way for a man to attain the role of elder/pastor was to aspire to it. In fact, since it is the duty of elders to do their work with gladness and not under constraint or for love of money (1 Peter 5:1-3), this should be thought of as one of the elders' qualifications. This need not exclude the possibility that a man may be sought out and urged to become an elder, however, no pressure should be used that would result in an unwilling, half-hearted service.
Once nominations are received, the Elder(s)/Pastor(s) will affirm or disqualify nominations. Qualified Elder nominees will be invited into the Training and Discernment Course (nine months).
Nominees will undergo nine months of rigorous preparation and discernment as they and their family (if applicable) are tested and approved by the demands of the Scriptures (1 Timothy 5:22). There are four different modules that the candidate will go through: Christology, Ecclesiology, Missiology, and Ministry.
After prayer and fasting, Elder Nominees(s) will indicate to Paul Vroom in the first week of April, whether or not they still are aspiring to the office of Elder. Nominees will be interviewed by current elder(s) and pastor(s).
If calling is affirmed, then Elder Candidates (note terminology change) will be presented to the congregation to share their Gospel stories and then be publically examined on their theology.
Following a Canidates examination, members of Missio Dei Church as well as anyone in or out of the church having a concern regarding the Candidates’s qualifications to lead as an elder will have two weeks to notify the elders, who can investigate the matter to determine if there is any reason to disqualify the person.
Consensus approval from the elders and an election by Covenant Members, indicated by a majority vote of the single slate, is required prior to installation of an elder.
If not disqualified, Candidates will be ordained to the office of Elder in the month of June.
Want to see the "Elder Training and Discerment Course" syllabus? Check it out here.
Additionally, the Elders hold to complementarian view. You can read more about who we believe should be elders/pastors within a church by reading a Pastoral Letter called Created and Redeemed as Male and Female.