From Trinity Consitution - Article 5
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
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
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
C. Each Elder shall annually review his or her continued Eldership. This process shall
include at least the following elements:
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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
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.