Elders are called to serve among and provide spiritual protection for the Church body and are accountable to Christ and the Church membership. Elders are to provide overall leadership to the Church through prayer, the ministry of the Word, and pastoral care, as well as by setting an example for all Church members by the Elder’s obedience to the mission of Christ and His Word (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 6:3-4; 20:28-31; 1 Corinthians 4:14-16; 1 Timothy 3:2, 5:17; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-4). All pastoral staff serve as Elders at FBCSF. Elders may also be selected from the adult, male membership of the Church as led by the Holy Spirit and affirmed by the Church membership. The Senior Pastor shall serve as the “first among equals” with other Elders.
Based on Ezekiel 34, some of the key tasks that God demands in shepherding his flock include
- Feeding the sheep (2),
- Strengthening the weak (4),
- Healing the sick (4),
- Binding the broken (4),
- Protecting the flock (5),
- Bringing back the stray (6),
- Seeking the lost (6), and
- Leading the flock (8) (from Pastoral Ministry: the Ministry of a Shepherd by Deron Biles, et al).
The elders at FBCSF want to be found faithful in the task of shepherding, and we know that God has called together this pastoral team at this time for that purpose, knitting together a team of elders with unique gifts and callings for the building up of the body of Christ at FBCSF. As such, the elders have divided the task of shepherding in the following way:
- Joel Williams oversees the tasks of feeding the flock and leading the flock;
- Kevin Cheatham oversees the tasks of healing the sick and binding the broken;
- Jim Carroll oversees the tasks of strengthening the flock and protecting the flock; and
- Jerome Matherne oversees the tasks of bringing back the stray and seeking the lost.
Together, the elders will work weekly to pursue faithfulness in these tasks, understanding that the role of the elder in the NT church is not to replace the Old Testament priest but to equip the priesthood of believers to be the body of Christ in order to accomplish the work of Christ. Serving as under-shepherds of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who is the only mediator between God and man, the elders will prayerfully assess needs in these pastoral tasks and will work to mobilize resources within the church to accomplish these tasks.