New Elder Process & Invitation

In the Vineyard elders function as overseers who tend to the spiritual health and vision of the community.  At this juncture we’d like to add to our current Elder team and your input and prayer is critical.

There are two kinds of elders in Winnipeg Centre Vineyard – Pastoral Elders and Lay Elders.  The Lay Elders (Paul & Sherry Ansloos, Cliff & Krista Heide, Jason & Theresa Eheler, Rod & Elisa Jersak) keep the big picture in mind and prayerfully seek God for direction and counsel regarding all macro matters relating to church-life. The Pastoral Elders (Riegers, Woods, Rademakers & Labuns) also embrace this role with the added responsibility of implementing the daily tasks associated with the macro. The whole Elder team is lead by the Pastoral Executive (Nathan & Andy). More on leadership in WCV here.

A few points to keep in mind in this process:

  1. Leadership is servanthood. It’s not about ordering others around, but rather serving others (Luke 22:25-27). Being an elder isn’t a promotion. Rather, it’s a recognition of a person’s current influence in the community.
  2. Leadership is action. It’s not about position or titles. While specific roles can be very helpful, true leadership is never about titles. If a someone has a position of leadership, but doesn’t have anyone following, then they’re just going for a walk.
  3. The Elders, while not always older, are all seasoned leaders and followers of Jesus.
  4. While all the current elders are married couples, this is not a requirement for prospective elders, nor is it necessarily preferable.
  5. Lay Elders meet monthly, participate in one annual 2-day retreat, and commit to a 3-year term which is renewable based on mutual agreement by all current Pastoral and Lay Elders.

There are four steps in the process of adding new elders to our current team.  There are also a number of considerations and requirements for elders.

The New Elder Process is:

  1. Nomination and Discernment (November). During this time the community and the current elder team nominate those they think are currently functioning as elders (even if they don’t have the position). Prayerfully ask, “who do I naturally look to for counsel, support, care, etc?” Chances are, those are the people who are already functioning as elders. At the same time, the pastors and elders are prayerfully discerning if people qualify and are a good fit for the current team and season of life the church is in (see below for requirements and considerations).
  2. Proposal & Mutual Consideration (December). The staff will contact potential new elders and invite them to prayerfully consider.  This is a period in which we see if this “seems good to us and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 15:28).
  3. Prospective Elder Period (January – March).  This is a three-month period during which prospective elders are known to the community, come to monthly elder meetings, and are in communication with staff.  We “kick the tires” so to speak. At the end of this period it’s determined if it’s a fit.  If it is:
  4. Membership Vote (March).  Those who are formal members of WCV (those who “belong, serve and give” as described here) vote on the prospective new elders. If the new elder is ratified, this begins their 3-year term. Bear in mind that this is a vote, not on who should become elders, but on whether those who’ve been identified via the above process are the right decision for the Vineyard at this time.

Requirements for Elders are:

  1. All the biblical requirements outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
  2. Be a current member of WCV (described here). Walking out and dialoguing with our 15 Core Practices. Of particular note are: Devotion to Jesus (elders should be devoted to their walk with God), Circles of Sharing (a hallmark of eldership is hospitality) and Generosity (elders should be giving to the local church).
  3. A good fit with the current team and the season the Vineyard is in. While there are many people who generally qualify as elders, the staff and current elders must prayerfully discern who is the best fit for right now. What skills and gift mix will best suit the team already? This is not a popularity contest – it is a serious process to discern who God has prepared and gifted to serve the whole community at this time.

>>Will you join us in this process?  We value both your prayer and input.  If you’d like to nominate someone please contact one of the pastors or email or call the office. Thanks!

For a further explanation of this Organizational Diagram go here.

Our current Elder team (both lay and pastoral elders):