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Officer Qualifications

Overview

Central Presbyterian Church Officer candidates must be men, must have been members of CPC for at least the last 2 years and meet the biblical requirements established in 1 Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:6-9.

Additionally, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Book of Order (Chapter 10, Sections 4-8) describes the characteristics and requirements for the offices of Elder and Deacon as follows:

Elder

In the Old Testament, the office of Elder was established for the oversight of the Church. In the New Testament, this office is continued. Those who fill this office today for governing the Church are called Ruling Elders. Chosen by the people of a particular congregation, these Ruling Elders are to watch over the spiritual welfare of that congregation. As a representative of the people, it is the first duty of the Ruling Elder to represent the mind of Christ, as that person understands it, in the various courts of the Church.

According to Scripture, those who bear this office should exhibit certain characteristics of life. This includes being blameless in life, sound in faith, wise in the things of God, and discreet in all things. Persons who fill this office should exhibit a lifestyle that is an example to all, both in and outside the Church. A congregation preparing to elect persons to this holy office should carefully study appropriate passages of Scripture relating to the Ruling Elder and be very prayerful in selecting persons to this office.

A Ruling Elder should study and learn the Word and become equipped to teach that Word. The Ruling Elder should become adept at leading in worship and at leading in prayer. As an Undershepherd, that person should visit the sick, the bereaved, the lonely, the aged, the shut-in and all those who have a pastoral need. It is especially incumbent upon the Ruling Elder to see to the development of the children of the congregation, to inquire after the inactive members, to encourage new members in spiritual development, and to otherwise show care for those whom they serve. As the law of love places certain duties upon each Christian, the Ruling Elder is especially bound to fulfill those duties and to be an example to all.

Deacon

The office of Deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, concern for needs, and of serving others. Therefore, the first duty of the Deacon is sympathy and service. Historically, to this office has been given the duty of being the Church’s instrument for the ministry of compassion. Such duties may include the care, maintenance and preparation of the church and its facilities. The Church Session may assign from time to time special duties felt to be appropriate to that office.

According to Scripture, those who aspire to this office should exhibit especially those spiritual qualities of the Christian, and should be earnest and wholehearted followers of Christ. They should be persons who are steady and reliable, well thought of by all. They should not be new in the faith and should be tested for faithfulness before election.

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