A Plurality of Elders Oversee the Church Together
John 21:15–19; Acts 6:1–7; 11:30; 14:23; 15:6; 20:17–38; 21:17–26; 1 Corinthians 9:1–14; 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1–7; 3:10; 4:14; 5:17–25; Titus 1:5–9; 1 Peter 5:1–5; James 3:1; 5:13–15; Hebrews 13:17
As Head and Shepherd of the Church, Jesus calls qualified men to oversee the church as His under-shepherds. In order to protect the church from the inadequacy of any one man and in order to protect any one man from becoming (intentionally or unintentionally) abusive in this role, Jesus calls a plurality of elders to oversee the church together. Each biblically qualified man shall serve as an elder according to his particular strengths and spiritual gifts. Therefore, the elders are to function as a team, each man contributing uniquely to the oversight of the church.
We identify seven main responsibilities entrusted to elders:
i. Set vision.
ii. Equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
iii. Constitute the legal Board of Directors.
iv. Ensure all government requirements/legislated codes are met.
i. Help the church to be doctrinally discerning.
ii. Establish policies to ensure personal safety.
3. Preach & Teach
i. Reprove, rebuke, and exhort the church from the Word of God.
ii. Preaching and teaching is done from the pulpit, in classes, in homes, or any place where instruction from the Bible is possible.
i. Establish strategic discipleship relationships so that the entire church is being continually and increasingly conformed to the image of Christ.
i. Ensure sin and conflict is handled in a biblically redemptive way.
ii. Discipline is especially required in order to preserve unity in the church. Unity is established by a shared submission to the truths of Scripture. Any other kind of so-called unity is a false unity and has no place in the church.
i. Make daily supplications to God on behalf of the church.
ii. Visit the sick and those in various need in order to provide comfort and to pray.
iii. Ask God for wisdom and courage to be Christ’s under-shepherds.
7. Exercise hospitality
i. Build significant relationships with members through regular hospitality.
ii. Model hospitality in order that the church is ever increasingly hospitable and thus grows in genuine fellowship.
There is no distinction in the Bible between elders and pastors. Therefore, pastors are elders and elders are pastors. Though our culture distinguishes between elders (lay) and pastors (professional), we believe this distinction to be unbiblical. However, the Bible does clearly indicate that some elders are called to make their living by the Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14).
Currently we have 4 elders:
Dan and his wife, Linda, have been married for 32 years and have three adult children (all married) and 4 grandchildren (so far). Dan and his family have been at the Rock since 2014. Dan enjoys the study and teaching of God’s Word. Dan is a government veterinarian with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Guelph and the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario.
Rev. Wayne Foster (Chair)
Wayne and Elva have been married for 47 years and have 5 adult children and 14 grandchildren. Wayne has pastored three Associated Gospel Churches from 1965-2008 and have attended the Rock since the fall of 2009. Wayne's passion is to speak into people's lives with the truth of God's Word. Wayne is also a part-time chaplain at Telfer Place Retirement Home in Paris, Ontario.
Jeff and his wife, Gloria, live in Innerkip with their four children, John, Victoria, Thomas, and Christopher. Jeff has served at the Rock since 2011 with a deep passion for God's Word and a belief in the sufficiency of Scripture. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Bruce and Eleanor have been married for 42 years and have three adult children and five grandchildren. Bruce has been serving at the Rock for 5 years. He enjoys the study of God's Word and uses his gifts of shepherding and encouragement to help people to grow in Christ-likeness. Bruce and Eleanor operate a feed sales company in partnership with their son selling into the pork industry in Ontario.