June 27th, 2009

“All persons who belong to Jesus Christ are called to minister his reconciling work through the Church. But to lead the Church, our Lord calls particular believers to shepherd the people, teach doctrine, administer the sacraments and keep order…

..God calls men and women, bu the Church examines them so as to confirm the presence of spiritual gifts and personal graces…

..When people are set apart for this leadership responsibility, they are ordained by the laying on of hands. Paul remembered this moment in his counsel to Timothy when he said: “I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Tim. 1:6 RSV).

Whether elders serve as pastors, teachers, missionaries, chaplains or in unique combinations of these vocations, they provide Spirit-filled leadership. In fulfilling the Great Commandment to love the Lord our God and to love others, and in fulfilling the Great Commission to go into all the world to make disciples, elders are God’s gift to the Church.

Pastoral leadership focuses on developing healthy biblical communities of holy people. These communities multiply disciples, mentor leaders, create new groups and plant new churches. Such Spirit-filled leadership requires vision and courage to move people to obey the Word of God and increase His church.

Rooted in a deep love for Christ and sharing his compassion for people, Free Methodist elders help create congregations that are fervent in prayer, enthusiastic in worship, holy in lifestyle, insistent for justice, caring for the poor, and reaching out locally and globally to bring all people into relationship with Jesus Christ.”

– Book of Discipline, FMC

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