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Trinity has launched the process to select new Elders to join the leadership of our church.

As per the Constitution, a Nominating Committee has been formed comprised of Irenee May (Chair), Carrie Gazzetta, Jill Marchak, Crista Mathew, and Scott Tilton. The Committee is responsible for identifying and nominating qualified individuals who can help lead our church as Elders in its 3rd decade. 

The Committee is inviting recommendations from the congregation of men and women who bring the gifts, skills and temperament to contribute to the health and direction of our church community. 

We ask for your prayers through the process for God’s guidance and blessing, and for the eventual nominees whose sacrifice of time and talents will be significant. 

Form of Recommendation

Guidelines for Elders

From Trinity Consitution - Appendix C


Essential Components of an Elder

The Biblical teaching on church leadership begins and ends with the character of the individuals who are called to the leadership team of the church. Our evaluation of individuals who aspire to serve as Elders at Trinity Church includes a comprehensive process to evaluate the “Five Cs,” with the primary focus on Character.

1. First“C”—Character (1 Timothy3:2–7andTitus1:6–9)

  • Above reproach—Elders must lead by example and demonstrate a lifestyle free from patterns of sin.

  • Committed to Fidelity—Elders, if married, must be devoted and faithful spouses.

  • Temperate—Elders must be self-controlled, and enslaved to nothing.

  • Prudent—Elders must be sober, sensible, wise, balanced in judgment, not given to quick, superficial decisions based on immature thinking.

  • Respectable—Elders must demonstrate a well-ordered life and honorable behavior.

  • Hospitable—Elders must be unselfish with personal resources, willing to share blessings with others.

  • Able to teach—Elders must be able to communicate truth and sound doctrine in a non-argumentative way.

  • Not addicted to wine—Elders must be free from addictions and willing to limit their liberty for the sake of others.

  • Not combative or quick-tempered—Elders must be gentle, patient, and able to exercise self-control in difficult situations.

  • Uncontentious—Elders must not be given to quarreling, gossiping or selfish argumentation.

  • Free from the love of money—Elders must not be stingy, greedy, or for sordid gain, or preoccupied with amassing material things.

  • Guide own household with love, wisdom and dignity—Elders must be committed to pursuing a healthy family life, and, if they have children, pointing them toward Jesus.

  • Not a new convert/not a new believer—Elders must not be new believers.They must have been a Christian long enough to demonstrate the reality of their conversion and depth of spirituality.

  • Good reputation with outsiders—Elders must be well-respected by unbelievers and free from hypocrisy.

  • Not self-willed—Elders must not be stubborn, or prone to forcing their opinions on others or abusing authority. They must be servant-minded and committed to mutual accountability.

  • Loving what is good—Elders must desire the will of God in every decision.

  • Just—Elders must desire to be fair and impartial. Their judgments must be based on scriptural principles.

  • Devout—Elders must be devoted Christ followers, seeking to be conformed to His image. They must be committed to prayer, worship, the study of Scripture, and the guarding of their spiritual walk.

  • Holding fast the faithful Word—Elders must be stable in the faith, obedient to the Word of God, and continually seeking to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

2. Second “C”—Competence: Defined as specific, Holy Spirit-endowed gifts and abilities, combined with skills acquired through training and life experience.

3. Third “C”—Chemistry: The intangible quality of being practiced at speaking truth with love, and being committed to pursuing unity, rather than uniformity within the Eldership.

4. Fourth “C”—Courage:The ability, when needed, to enter into difficult exchanges and defend the faith, the Church, and individuals in ways that preserve and maintain healthy relationships in community.

5. Fifth “C”—Calling: T he ability to sense God’s calling on one’s life for a particular season of service to the body of Christ: “I think God is in this.”

Essential Spiritual Gifts for Elders

The spiritual gifts of discernment, wisdom, and leadership are considered foundational gifts for those who serve as Elders; however, the presence of other gifts such as teaching, administration, encouragement, and mercy greatly enhance Elder functioning.

1. Discernment

The gift of discernment is the divine enablement to distinguish between truth and error. It is the ability to discern the spirits, differentiating between good and evil, right and wrong. Scripture references are: 1 Corinthians12:10;Acts5:1–4; and Matthew 16:21–23. People with this gift:

  • Distinguish truth from error, right from wrong, pure motives from impure motives.
  • Identify deception in others with accuracy and in an appropriate manner.
  • Determine whether a word attributed to God is authentic. 
  • Recognize inconsistencies in a teaching, prophetic message, or interpretation. 
  • Can sense the presence of evil.
2. Wisdom

The gift of wisdom is the divine enablement to apply spiritual truths effectively to meet needs in specific situations. Scripture references are: 1 Corinthians 12:8; James 3:13–18; 1 Corinthians 2:3–14; and Jeremiah 9:23–24. People with this gift:

  1. Focus on the unseen consequences in determining what next steps to take.

  2. Receive an understanding of what is necessary to meet the needs of the body.

  3. Provide divinely guided or given solutions in the midst of conflict and confusion.

  4. Hear the Spirit provide direction for God’s best in a given situation.

  5. Apply spiritual truth in specific and practical ways.

3. Leadership

The gift of leadership is the divine enablement to envision the future of the church coupled with a humble heart to serve others. Scripture references are: Genesis 12:1; Isaiah 43:18–19; Matthew 7:7; Matthew 20:25–28; Luke 22:27; John 10:3–4, 11; I Corinthians 2:9–13; and James 1:5. People with this gift:

  1. Are servants by nature; eager to see the church prevail in the world. 
  2. Demonstrate spiritual foresight that anticipates the work of God.
  3. Allow Scripture and prayer to inform their decision-making process. 
  4. Impart vision to others  using clear communication.
  5. Can assess significant past events and their potential for impact on the present and future.
  6. Are able to think creatively and apply ideas and concepts in new ways.
  7. Desireaccountabilityinfulfillingtheirresponsibilitiesandmeetingtheneedsof those they serve.
4. Teaching

The gift of teaching is the divine enablement to understand, clearly explain, and apply the Word of God, causing greater Christ-likeness in the lives of listeners. Scripture references are: Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28–29; Acts 18: 24–28; and 2 Timothy 2:2. People with this gift:

  • Communicate biblical truth that inspires greater obedience to the Word.
  • Challenge listeners simply and practically with the truths of Scripture.
  • Present the whole counsel of God for maximum life change.
  • Give attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Are committed to consistent personal time of biblical study and reflection. 

Responsibilities of and process for selecting Elders

From Trinity Consitution - Article 5


Trinity Elders 

5.1 Responsibilities

A. The Elders are servant leaders whose primary concern is to provide spiritual oversight, direction, and leadership for the overall Church, entrusting the implementation of that direction to ministry leaders and staff, under the leadership of the Senior Pastor. Senior staff leadership is held accountable for fulfilling the Elders’ direction. The tasks and responsibilities of the Elders vary greatly and require discernment as they seek to keep the Church on a Biblical course. The Elders have the final decision-making power in the Church and their responsibilities include:

  • Determining the overall vision and future direction of the Church;
  • The Godly stewardship of the Church’s tangible and intangible resources;
  • Encouraging the Senior Pastor, his/her staff and volunteers;
  • Creating policies to define clearly Church values and Biblical operating procedures;
  • EnsuringtheChurch’steachingsandpracticesreflectaccurateBiblicaltheologyand, when needed, confront false teaching;

  • Listening to, and communicating with, the people of the Church, with care, discernment and clarity;

  • Providing avenues for conflict resolution; and

  • Providing direction on financial or risk-management issues.

5.2 Number and Tenure of Elders 

A. The Elders shall have no fewer than five members and a maximum of ten, excluding ex-officio members.

B. Elders shall serve for 3-year terms. No Elder other than the Chair, may serve more than two consecutive full terms, in addition to any partial term he/she may have served, without an intervening year. I f any Elder is to serve a second term, there must be an explicitly stated leadership reason for the additional term. This paragraph B does not apply to any Elder who is a member of the pastoral staff.

C. For the purpose of staggering the dates of Elders’ terms of service, the Eldership may be divided into three classes, each class containing approximately 1/3 of the Elders.

D. In the event that an Elder does not serve out a full term, the other Elders may appoint someone to serve as an interim Elder for a period of up to six months until such time as a new Elder is selected in accordance with the nominating process described in section 5.4.

E. The Senior Pastor is an ex-officio voting member of the Elders for as long as he or she is Senior Pastor.

F. The Elders may, by a 2/3 vote, add one or more members of the pastoral staff (in addition to the Senior Pastor) as an ex-officio voting Elder. Such a staff member shall serve in this role until removed pursuant to section 5.3 A. or by a subsequent 2/3 vote of the Elders.

5.3 Termination and Continuation of Elders 

A. Any Elder may resign at any time by submitting a written notice to the other Elders.

B. An Elder may be suspended or removed by a vote of not less than 2/3 of the other Elders, after prayer and a hearing by the Elders during which a Biblical basis for the action is established.

C. Each Elder shall annually review his or her continued Eldership. This process shall include at least the following elements:

  1. Each Elder will review his/her experience serving as an Elder during the previous year, with particular attention to (i) Appendix C, (ii) his/her Spiritual gifts and the extent to which they are being utilized, and (iii) his/her capacity, flexibility and availability to fulfill the role of Elder.
  2. Each Elder will present this personal review to the other Elders in an Elder meeting. He/she and the other Elders may prayerfully discuss it and jointly agree on what is going well and what might be changed. At the end of this discussion, the Elder will state whether he/she feels called to continue as an Elder during the following year.
5.4 Selection and Qualifications

The success of this process, and all others in the Church, depends upon every participant acting in love, speaking truth with grace, and making decisions prayerfully and intentionally under God’s authority and guidance. The goal is to ensure as far as possible that men and women who are affirmed as Elders have been called by God to that position and appropriately equipped by the Holy Spirit.

A. The Elders shall determine annually the number of positions, if any, to be filled for the next year.

B. If the Elders determine that there are openings to be filled, they shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three people which must include at least one current Elder and at least one person who is not currently an Elder.

C. At the beginning of any nominating process, the Elders will communicate to the Church the names of and means of contacting the members of the Nominating Committee and the primary task(s) assigned to the Nominating Committee.

D. Any candidate for Elder must meet the Church’s guidelines for Elders as outlined in Appendix C.

E. The Nominating Committee shall make recommendations to the Elders, which shall include a description of each individual’s suitability for Eldership in accordance with Appendix C. The Elders will prayerfully consider which candidates are most suitable for the role of Elder at that time.

F. Any candidates determined by the Elders to be suitable for further examination will be asked to submit a statement of faith essay articulating how their personal theological beliefs align with those of the Church (as set out in section 1.2). Following prayerful review of each candidate’s essay, the Elders may invite one or more candidates to be interviewed by the Senior Pastor, Elders, Nominating Committee or any combination thereof.

G. Once interviewed and approved, any candidate for Elder will be considered nominated and will be presented promptly to the Church for prayerful consideration. Any concerns that such candidate(s) is not in compliance with the Guidelines in Appendix C should be addressed using the principles for conflict resolution taught by Jesus in Matthew 18, first by going directly to the nominated Elder candidate, and if necessary, to the Nominating Committee as representative of the Church. In the absence of unresolved concerns, the Elders will hold a vote to affirm each candidate as an Elder, which vote(s) shall take place no earlier than 14 days after the presentation of the candidate(s) to the Church. The nominating process will conclude with the announcement of any Elder appointment to the Church and their commissioning by the laying on of hands by the other Elders.

5.5 Organization and Manner of Acting 

A. Elders shall hold regular meetings throughout the year, and special meetings as needed.

B. Elders shall select a Chair annually from among its members, who shall preside over its meetings. If a candidate for Chair has already served more than two consecutive full terms as an Elder, he/she must be affirmed by a vote of not less than 2/3 of the remaining Elders.

C. A majority of the Elders constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.

D. The Elders should seek to make decisions on a consensus basis. As Jesus is the head of the Church and provides inspiration and guidance for decisions by the Holy Spirit, it is incumbent upon each Elder to genuinely seek spiritual guidance through prayer and to listen to fellow Elders with an open mind. To the extent that the Elders cannot reach consensus on a timely basis, a vote may be taken and decision reached by a simple majority (unless otherwise specified). The percentage vote required for approval of a motion refers to the entire Eldership, not just those who are present for the vote. For example, “a majority vote” means a majority of all Elders must approve, not just a majority of those present at the meeting.

E. At the discretion of the Elder Chair, the Elders may allow remote and electronic participation in its meetings, including for votes.

F. The Elders shall make financial information available and shall report to the Church at least once a year on the Church’s financial condition and on leadership initiatives.

5.6 Senior Pastor

A. The Elders shall determine the duties and compensation of the Senior Pastor, and shall be responsible for filling any vacancy in that position. The Senior Pastor may be dismissed by unanimous vote of the other Elders who are not staff members, after prayer and a hearing by the Elders during which a Biblical rationale for dismissal is established.

B. The Senior Pastor may, subject to the approval of the Elders, recruit and hire Staff members to fill positions that have been determined together by the Elders and may delegate authority to them. The Senior Pastor may dismiss senior Staff members as determined together by the Elders. The Senior Pastor may dismiss non-senior staff members without prior approval from the Elders. The Elders will annually approve a list of which staff positions are considered to be senior.