Elders at Peninsula Bible Church

Peninsula Bible Church, from its inception, has been governed by plurality of elders. It is clear from the New Testament that the local church is to be governed by a group of men known as elders or overseers (Acts 20:28). The office of overseer/elder carries personal and spiritual qualifications as described in I Timothy 3 and Titus. The responsibility to govern well and serve the flock of Jesus Christ is also discussed in Hebrews 13 and I Peter 5.

What does an elder do?

An elder is a servant of the Lord Jesus to the PBC body, not an overlord. His primary motivation is to care about, care for, be concerned with anything and everything that touches the local church body. At PBC each elder has at least two principal assignments representing two ministries in which he spends the major portion of his time. The elder normally spends time with the leadership in the ministries assigned to him, offering counsel, praying for, and generally caring about each specific ministry. In addition, each elder meets twice a month with all the other elders where they are together concerned with the overall ministry of PBC. All significant PBC governing matters (both spiritual and practical) are brought before the whole group of elders.

How does an elder lead?

Every elder gives leadership in three ways. First, he himself, with the other elders, corporately pray and plan - not plan and pray - so as to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit in their ministry and guidance. Second, he offers suggestions and ideas to those involved in the two specific ministries he is assigned to. He further demonstrates a godly lifestyle, utilizing Scripture for particular situations. The combination of ideas, lifestyle and biblical perspective, put forward with a servant's attitude, draws a response from those he is attempting to help, which bestows authority and leadership upon him. Third, he leads by joining in the discussion of general church matters as a member of the total group of elders, and then by participating in the vote on such matters, knowing that he is individually charged before the Lord with voting in line with what he believes the Lord wants for his local church, PBC.

All of these general decisions are only reached on an unanimous vote basis (every single elder must speak to an issue and each must be in unanimous agreement before a decision is made). By requiring unanimity, the eldership believes that the Holy Spirit can direct the major decisions of PBC. Thus He is in charge of his church, and no one individual or majority of individuals can control it.

How is an elder gifted?

Each elder must have at least two spiritual gifts, one gift from the leadership group described in Scripture (I Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4), and the second gift of teaching (I Timothy 3:2). In addition, he needs to have a recognized degree of wisdom, plus a strong commitment to the local body, PBC.

How is an elder selected?

The local body of Christ at PBC identifies future elders. This occurs over time as an individual gradually discovers his gifts, and others in the body of Christ respond to those gifts and begin to willingly transfer responsibility and authority to him. As this process continues, it becomes evident to the elders that a candidate for eldership is emerging from among the flock. The elders then begin to examine him in light of I Timothy 3 and Titus, to see if he meets the personal and biblical qualifications. When the elders have reached a positive unanimous decision, they extend an invitation to the individual, asking that he carefully consider the responsibility and hard work that is involved. In the end, all must be in unanimous agreement that the Holy Spirit has appointed this individual to the PBC eldership. (See Acts 15 and 20:28 re: the elders of the church at Ephesus.)

How long does an elder serve?

Each elder serves indefinitely. The reason is that the Holy Spirit has gifted him for this task and, furthermore, has brought all to unanimous agreement that he is the right man; and lastly, the local body has already responded to his leadership. So until the Holy Spirit takes that office away, or makes a change in it, he continues to serve. There are times when for health or personal reasons an elder will step down, either for a limited time or permanently, but once again, the mind of the Lord is sought for such action.

How is an elder evaluated?

Each elder (and also each pastor) is evaluated by all the rest of the elders and the pastoral team at PBC approximately every two to three years. During this evaluation his personal life, his family life, his ministry, and spiritual development are looked at by his brothers. As a result, he may receive suggestions, warnings, exhortations, commendations, etc. which are the unanimous decision of all the elders.

Eldership at PBC is not an office that men accept lightly. Nor is it a position of pomp and circumstance; it carries no financial reward. But one day, those who have ministered well will hear the Lord and Chief Shepherd of His Church say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of thy reward."

Position Papers: A word from the elders...

PBC's Current Elders

Craig Duncan
Charlie Tucker
Ed Woodhall
Jerry Yan

Staff Elders

Doug Goins
Steve Zeisler
Ray Cookingham

Mike Tracy

Elder Advisors

Basil Fthenakis
Mark Ledwith
Scott Spielman

On Leave of Absence

Bruce Cairns

Go Back to PBC Home Page

Revised August 11, 1996.