ELDERS’ COVENANT OF CONDUCT

Western Hills Church of Christ

 

I. Shepherding and Spiritual Leadership

1. The primary responsibility of the Western Hills elders is the spiritual shepherding of the flock.

  • We are dedicated to the ministry of the word and prayer.

    • (Acts 6; Hebrews 13:7; Titus 1:9)

  • We are committed to being shepherds, mentors, and equippers.

    • (I Peter 5:1-7; Titus 2:11-15; Ephesians 4:11-13)

  • Our priority is to the spiritual health of the church family. This includes; but not limited to:

1) shepherding those who are suffering,

2) teaching the faith,

3) promoting unity and facilitating reconciliation,

4) equipping the saints for ministry.

2. To help all members grow as disciples, we encourage the congregation as a whole to:

  • Daily focus on Jesus and the cross.

  • Nurture spiritual growth.

  • Increase in love and Godly behavior.

  • Recognize our spiritual gifts and use them to glorify God.

  • Proclaim a biblical worldview that is obedient to Christ.

3. In order to concentrate on shepherding, the elders will use task groups and staff (deacons,

  ministers, specially qualified members) to do all that is possible involving administration,

  church management, and leadership of specific ministries.

  • With all assigned tasks goes the authority needed to accomplish the responsibility.

  • We will work to establish trust in the assigned groups to make good decisions.

 

II. Working Together as an Eldership

1. We consider that every elder, regardless of how long he may have served, is of equal status

   as a shepherd of this church.

  • From the first day one serves as an elder, he has full co-responsibility with the other elders for the oversight of this church.

  • We believe each elder is under the spiritual care of the other elders.

2. When making a decision as a group we follow these principles:

  • Everyone present will be allowed to express his viewpoint.

  • At least one more than half of the elders currently serving are required to be present in order to have a quorum for making decisions for the group.

  • A majority vote of those present is considered to have approved or disapproved a motion.

  • Anyone not present at a meeting is considered to have voted with the majority on any motion.

3. All elders agree to support the decision of the group as if the vote had been unanimous.

  • We will not talk to anyone outside the meeting about how individuals voted on any issue.

  • We will not communicate with others in any manner so as to represent our personal point of view as being that of the Western Hills elders.

Exceptions are :

i.  When directed by the elders to communicate a message on their behalf.

ii. When repeating a decision of the elders which has previously been made public.

We will refrain from making decisions on behalf of the eldership on our own, realizing that we have no authority as individual elders. Authority resides in the eldership as a whole.

4. Should a matter be decided by the group that an individual elder, for conscience’s sake,   

   cannot support, he has three alternatives:

  1. He can ask for a second consideration providing him with more time to make his point more clear.

  2. He can request assistance from the elders through prayer, study, coaching, or even counseling in order to manage his own anxiety appropriately.

  3. He can resign from his role as an elder if the above does not remedy the situation and the majority decision is sustained.

5. At all times confidentiality must be respected.

  • This means there will be many things considered by the elders (and often ministers included) which are not to be discussed with others, including our wives, family members, or closest friends.

 

III. Communication, Conflict, and Reconciliation

1. We pledge to listen to any member who wishes to express his or her opinions about the life

   and ministry of the congregation.

  • We encourage open dialogue among members, and in matters of conflict or disagreement we hold to the principles taught by Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20.

  • We encourage members to share their opinions directly with the elders, ministers, deacons, or ministry leaders.

2. When members of the congregation express an opinion to an elder, the elder shall ask,

  “What would you like me to do with this information?”

  • If the member desires to have a meeting with the elders, the time and date will be arranged through the chairman of the elders for the quarter.