Our elder development program exists to identify and equip prospective elders for faithful ministry in the local church through personal discipleship, theological development, and ministry opportunities.
Although the elder development program focuses particularly on raising up elders to serve at Resurrection Church, those who desire to be sent out from Resurrection Church for church planting, established church ministry, or a similar endeavor are welcome to participate in the program. For these individuals, a free-housing option for the course of the program may be offered based on availability and need.
Seminary students may participate in the program if they desire to serve as an elder at Resurrection Church or be sent out by Resurrection Church for local church planting/missions efforts. Any seminary student may participate in the internship program (currently under development).
Requirements for Participation
Men desiring to participate in the elder development program should evidence a commitment to the life of the church, a growing faith, and an interest in serving as an elder at Resurrection Church (or elsewhere). Participants must be members in good standing. Those who come to Resurrection Church for the purpose of participating in this program should be added to the membership as soon as reasonably possible.
Although the elder development program will provide opportunities for shepherding and ministry, those interested in the program should already be involved in these pursuits (formally or informally) through participation in the life of the church.
To express interest, please speak with one of the elders or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program runs on a recurring basis, beginning in August and ending after twelve months with a formal assessment and recommendation regarding future pastoral ministry.
Although there are core features that structure the program (discipleship, theology, and ministry), there is flexibility within each of these features to take into account the interests, desires, and goals of each participant. For that reason, there are standard components of the program that anyone going through the program will participate in and there are other components that will be adapted on an individual basis.
Elders must meet the biblical qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. To that end, we desire to facilitate a holistic personal discipleship focus that includes attention to spiritual disciplines and extends to the formation of the whole person. The reading selection includes books that will cultivate conversations addressing multiple aspects of life, from organization to family life to spiritual disciplines.
In addition to the reading discussions, participants in the elder development program will meet with an elder one-on-one on a monthly basis, ideally connecting with each elder throughout the year. These meetings provide an opportunity for evaluating aspirations, family life, evangelistic & discipleship endeavors, etc.
Elders must be able to articulate and defend the faith, to faithfully interpret the Scriptures, and demonstrate theological competency. The reading selection includes books that will aid in theological development in combination with the ongoing discussions, teaching, and preaching connected to the ongoing ministry of the church.
At Resurrection Church, we appreciate a measure of theological diversity that allows for flexibility on a number of theological issues. Although the boundaries of theological affirmations and denials is relatively broad, significant theological compatibility with the Statement of Faith and position papers is required. One purpose of the elder development program is to gauge the level of theological compatibility shared between the current elders and the prospective elder.
Ministry and Shepherding
Generally, men who enter the elder development program already participate in some level of ministry and shepherding activity as members of the church. Still, the elder development program offers opportunities for increased formal ministry and shepherding responsibilities.
Every participant will attend monthly elders’ meetings and occasionally accompany an elder(s) on shepherding and hospital visits. Other ministry opportunities will depend on the gifting and desires of the individual in the program, including (but not limited to) Bible Class teaching opportunities (adult and youth), Lord’s Supper oversight, planning and leading a Sunday service, writing assignments, and assisting in the development of ministries.
Each month Aaron Downs will lead a book discussion for participants in the elder development program (other elders will participate as they desire). Each participant is expected to thoughtfully engage the material and to be prepared to share insights, reflections, and raise points for discussion. Discussions will take place sometime during the last week of each month (with some measure of flexible scheduling).
Books will be provided for each participant, unless they already own a copy. If a participant desires a digital copy, he should purchase and submit a reimbursement receipt.