Current OCC Elders
OCC's Elders serve according to the role of an Elder laid out in Scripture: Acts 20:28–31; 1 Ti 3:1-7; Titus 1:5–9; James 5:14; I Peter 5:1–4.
A Biblical Model of Church Leadership: In the New Testament, the foundation of church leadership is plurality. The church is to be led by a plurality of godly leaders. This affords healthy oversight of spiritual guidance, leadership direction, ministry implementation and financial accountability.
Elder Direction and Staff Leadership
OCC’s Elders provide spiritual oversight, direction, and leadership for the church, entrusting the implementation of that direction, under the leadership of the senior pastor, to ministry leaders and staff. This allows the Elders to focus their gifts and time on their biblical mandate to lead and shepherd the church, while allowing ministry leaders and staff the opportunity to maximize their gifts and talents as they lead their ministries.
How are Elders selected?
Elder candidates are nominated by the current Eldership board and undergo a prayerful screening, interview, and approval process. Approved candidates are presented to the congregation and the congregation then has 14 days to express any concerns. If a member of the congregation does have a concern regarding an Elder candidate they should approach a current member of the Eldership and share these concerns. These concerns will be investigated and acted upon appropriately. Elders that are approved are slated to serve a three-year term. Elders are not paid staff; they serve as volunteers. The Elder board will include the senior pastor who provides an essential link between the Elders and the staff. Each member of the Eldership has an equal voice in the decision making process which seeks to achieve consensus.
What do the Elders do?
The duties and responsibilities of the Elders vary greatly and require discernment while striving to keep the church on its biblical course. Primary responsibilities:
Defining the overall vision and future direction of the church.
Ensuring church teachings and practices reflect accurate biblical theology.
Creating policies to define church values and operating procedures.
Providing avenues for conflict resolution, discipline, and restoration.
Providing direction on financial or risk-management issues.
Providing accountability to the senior pastor.
Biblical Elder Qualifications
The following qualifications are the starting point for any man to be considered for OCC’s Eldership. Please note that because a man is making the effort to live a life in line with these qualifications, that does not automatically mean that he should be an Elder. Rather the Bible is saying that if a man is a leader, before you would ever place him in the position of Elder he must have these qualifications. Each candidate and their spouse undergo a robust screening and interview process that centers around the following criteria. Accepting the role of Elder is not something to be taken lightly; Elders make extensive time commitments and take on deep spiritual responsibility James 3:1.
1) Desire for Eldership Motivated by the Holy Spirit - A true desire to lead the family of God is always a Spirit- generated desire.
2)"Holy Spirit has made you overseers” (Acts 20:28).“If anyone aspires to the office of overseer he desires a noble task” (1 Tim. 3:1). “Not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be” (1 Peter 5:2).
3)Moral and Spiritual Character Requirements - Desire is not enough; sometimes desire for eldership may actually be false desire; deception of the heart, or the result of a dominating personality who wants to rule others.
a) Must have a good reputation “Above reproach" (1 Tim. 3:2, Titus 1:6), "Respectable" (1 Tim. 3:2), "Well thought of by outsiders" (1 Tim. 3:7).
b) Family and Marital Life “The husband of one wife" (1 Tim. 3:2, Titus 1:6), "Must manage his own household well" (1Tim. 3:4), "His children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination" (Titus 1:6).
c. Personal Self-Control “Sober-minded" (1 Tim 3:2), "Self-Controlled" (Titus 1:8), “Not greedy for gain" (Titus 1:7), "Not quick tempered" (Titus 1:7), "Not quarrelsome" (1 Tim. 3:3), "Not a drunkard" (1 Tim. 3:3), "Disciplined" (Titus 1:8).
d. Interpersonal Skills “Gentle" (1 Tim. 3:3), "Upright" (Titus 1:8), "Not quick tempered" (Titus 1:7), "Not quarrelsome" (1 Tim. 3:3), "Not arrogant" (Titus 1:7).
e. Hospitable and Loving “Hospitable” (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8), “a lover of good” (Titus 1:8).
f. Personal Integrity "Above reproach" (1 Tim. 3:2, Titus 1:6), "Being examples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:3), "Not greedy for gain" (Titus 1:7), "Upright" (Titus 1:8), "Hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught” (Titus 1:9), "Holy" (Titus 1:8).
g. Spiritual Maturity "Not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil" (1 Tim. 3:6).
4) Abilities- He must be able to manage his household well, provide a model of Christian living for others to follow and be able to teach and defend the faith.
a. Family Management "He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive" (1Tim. 3:4), "His children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination" (Titus 1:6).
b. Personal life "Being examples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:3).
c. Biblical Knowledge "He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it" (Titus 1:9).
d. Communication Skills "be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it" (Titus 1:9), "able to teach" (1 Tim. 3:3), "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4).
•Elders must be living a committed Christian life for a minimum of three years.
•Elders must be serving in a ministry, preferably in a leadership or coaching role.
•Elders must have capacity, flexibility and availability to serve in the Elder role. The time requirement varies greatly month to
month, but the minimum includes weekly meetings.