Cornerstone is an Elder-Led Church. Because of this, we take the time to thoroughly assess, pray for, and commission each one of our new Elders. As we welcome new Elders onto the board, we recognize them publicly in one of our church services through an Elder Installation. This includes an explanation of what it means to be an Elder-Led church, and vows taken by them and the congregation. Please read all three below.
The vows are adapted from Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons by Thabiti M. Anyabwile. 9Marks Series. Crossway. Wheaton, Il. 2012. Pages 163-64.
God gave the New Testament church the office of Elder to lead the local believers, and we believe that a biblically-based church is to be led by a plurality of duly elected, qualified, and God-honoring men called Elders. Elders are called to cast vision for the church and shepherd, equip, oversee, discipline, and protect the saints, devoting themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Those who lead a church must be fully surrendered to Christ and qualified according to Scripture. Jesus’ model of servant leadership must be followed as they lead the flock, make whole-life disciples, and seek to reach the world around us.
To The Elder
- Do you reaffirm your faith in Jesus Christ your Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God eternally existing in three persons, the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
- Do you believe the entirety of the Bible, consisting of both Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, free from error in the original words, authored under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, fully authoritative in all matters it addresses, incapable of being wrong, and always accomplishing its purposes?
- Do you sincerely believe, receive, and adopt the primary beliefs of the the faith as expressed in our Articles of Faith, as reliable explanations of what the Bible teaches us to believe and do, and if at any time you find yourself in disagreement with them, will you make this known to your fellow Elders?
I do, and I will with God’s help.
- Do you subscribe to the government and discipline of Cornerstone Congregational Church?
- Will you fulfill your office and duties in obedience to Jesus Christ, being continually guided by the Holy Spirit under the authority of the Bible, and will you endeavor by the grace of God to honor Christ and the gospel in your life and conduct?
I will, with God’s help.
- Do you promise to be mutually submissive to your fellow Elders in the Lord and will you love your colleagues in ministry, your fellow Elders, Pastor, Deacons, ministry teams, and volunteers—working with them, subject to God’s Word and the Spirit?
- Do you, as far as you know in your own heart, desire to accept the office of Elder, not because of selfish ambition, but because of your love for God and Christ’s bride the church?
- Do you promise to be zealous and faithful in promoting the truths of the gospel and the unity of the church, whatever persecution or opposition may arise against you on that account?
I do, with God’s help.
- Are you now willing to take personal responsibility in the life of this congregation as Elders, to oversee the ministry and resources of the church, and to devote yourself to prayer, the ministry of the Word, and the shepherding of God’s flock, relying upon the grace of God, in such a way that Cornerstone Congregational Church and the entire Church of Jesus Christ will be blessed?
I am, with the help of God.
To The Congregation
- Do you, the members of Cornerstone Congregational Church, acknowledge and publicly receive these men as Elders as a gift from God to this church to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ?
- Will you love them and pray for them in their ministry, and work together with them humbly and cheerfully, submitting to the Board of Elders, that by the grace of God we may accomplish the vision and mission of this church to the glory of God?