the next step in the life of the Mosaic Community

the next step in the life of the Mosaic Community

Mosaic is constantly in the process of praying & seeking God’s direction for the Mosaic Community. With the continual growth, both spiritually and numerically, it is our desire to cultivate and enhance Mosaic’s ability to care for, give guidance to, and nurture our Community. We believe this can best be achieved through following in the ways of the early Church.

In Acts 14, we see that one of the vital steps in the growth (both in maturity & numerically) of the church and the ability to nurture the community was to identify and appoint those for church leadership called Elders (Acts 14:23). Nearly every church in the New Testament is specifically said to have had Elders (Acts 20:17; 1 Peter 5:1-2).

With those thoughts in mind, Mosaic Nashville is excited about the opportunity to take the steps to develop our ability to care for and walk with our community by entrusting Elders with that very role.

What is an elder?

An elder is one to whom spiritual nurture and teaching of a community has been entrusted. We understand that as a community, we are all called to care for and teach one another, but in the context of that mutual care, elders have been entrusted with the responsibility to assure that care and learning is happening and that teaching is within the framework of historical, orthodox Christianity.

1 Peter 5:1 Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of the Messiah and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: 2 Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Several words are used in the bible to describe the same person- one who cares for and feeds God’s people. The word episkopos, means “overseer” or “guardian.” The New Testament bishop, or overseer, is specifically responsible for teaching (1 Timothy 3:2), feeding, protecting, and generally nurturing the community (Acts 20:28). Biblically, we see there is no difference in the role of elder and that of a bishop and that of a pastor.

Poimen, the word for Pastor, or Shepherd, is used several times in the New Testament, but Ephesians 4:11 is the only place in English versions where it is translated “pastor”. The other two times it appears in the Greek text, it is translated “shepherd” in the English version. Poimen emphasizes the pastoral role of caring and feeding. The focus of the term is on the person’s attitude.

To be qualified as a pastor/elder, one must have a shepherd’s caring heart. Mosaic’s elders will serve for as long as they are willing and continue to be qualified. The minimum number of elders will be three. We have no set maximum.

What is the role of an elder?

In the New Testament the elders were charged with the care, spiritual guidance, oversight of affairs, and the teaching and preaching in the local church (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).

What are the qualifications of an elder?

Biblical qualifications for spiritual leaders are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They are as follows:

• Above reproach—An elder must display solid character and cannot be accused of any unrepentant sin (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6).
• Husband of one wife—If an elder is married, he must be a person who is utterly single-minded in devotion, and faithful to his spouse. (Titus 1:6)
• Self Controlled– (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8).
• Wise– (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8).
• Respectable– Has the respect of others (1 Timothy 3:2).
• Hospitable—regularly opens their home to others (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8).
• Able to teach—teaches others through example, discipleship, and/or public speaking (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9).
• Not a heavy drinker— not addicted to alcohol or drugs (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7).
• Gentle—careful and considerate with others (1 Timothy 3:3), does not pick fights or physically abuse others (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7).
• Not contentious—not argumentative or divisive; protects the unity of the community. (1 Timothy 3:3).
• Free from the love of money—Not driven by materialism (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7).
• Manage his/her household well– demonstrates all of the other qualities first in his/her own family/household (1 Timothy 3:4).
• Having children who respect and obey—if an elder has children, parenting in a godly way such that the evidence is visible within their family life (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6).
• Not a new Christian–One who has committed to following Christ and is in the process of continual growth in disciplined Christian living (1 Timothy 3:6).
• Of good reputation with those outside the church–Having the respect of those who are not Christians (1 Timothy 3:7).
• Not arrogant– (Titus 1:7).
• Not quick-tempered–Practicing patience (Titus 1:7).
• Loving what is good–Desiring to associate oneself with truth, honor and integrity (Titus 1:8).
• Fair–Able to make objective decisions and be honest in relationships (Titus 1:8).
• Devout–Devoted to God, disciplined in his/her relationship with God. (Titus 1:8).

How will we choose elders?

As our community continues to develop, the elders will continue to watch our community closely for those who are already exhibiting the characteristics of an elder and fulfilling the role of caring for and teaching others. When someone who meets these qualifications comes to our attention, we may ask that person to consider the role of elder. If they agree, they will then complete a self-evaluation based on the above qualifications, followed by an informal interview with the elders to process the result. The elders may choose to question the candidate on life issues, doctrinal issues, relational issues and may also choose to speak with the candidate’s spouse (if applicable) and friends.

Should no red flags be raised, and if the elders and candidate are willing to proceed, the last step will be to bring that person’s name before the entire community and ask for private feedback as to whether anyone knows of any reason the candidate should not become an elder. After an appropriate time (2-3 weeks), if no irresolvable issues surface, that person will be confirmed as an elder.

Establishing Elders

As elders Thomas Rose and I would like to bring before the Mosaic Community as a new elder, Bobby Reed.
Bobby and Louise 4.2013
Bobby has spent valuable amounts of time with Thomas and me over the last few months and we walked through the qualifications for an elder as well as some of his spiritual journey. We are excited that he has considered this role in our community.

Bobby, his wife Louise, along with their children Katie, Stephen, Andrew and Timothy, have been a vital part of the Mosaic Community for 5 years. Bobby is truly a man of love for God and others. Bobby serves with the Ethics and Religion Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention as Vice President for Business and Finance. His primary responsibilities are financial oversight, human resources, and administrative business functions. Bobby, a graduate of Louisiana State University, came to Nashville in 1999 after serving on the staff of churches in Louisiana and Florida.

Your part is this over the next three weeks if you have questions or comments on Bobby coming alongside Mosaic as an elder please let Thomas and me know.

Should we hear nothing that raises red flags or derails the process, in three weeks Bobby will “officially” become an elder of Mosaic. If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to talk to Bobby or please email Thomas Rose or me.

Thanks everyone!

Gary Morgan

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