Roles and Responsibilities of Leadership at Saddlerock EPC
The Session has spent considerable time seeking God’s direction in defining the roles of Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders at Saddlerock EPC. The statements below are intended to help the congregation understand where Session stands on these roles and why. It is important to clearly define these roles and share them with the congregation and the pastor search committee. It is also important for the congregation to understand the logic behind the definition of these roles as we continue to explore the direction where God is leading Saddlerock.
The form of church government at Saddlerock is Presbyterian, where the rule of the church is by elected elders. The elders, referred to by the EPC as Ruling Elders, are chosen by the people and examined and confirmed by the present active Ruling Elders, or governing board, of the church.
Ruling Elder = active elders serving on session
The Ruling Elders are called by God to be an example of Christ-like living and to watch over the spiritual welfare of the congregation. As such the Ruling Elders are responsible for casting the vision for the church and are the primary decision makers. As undershepherds, and in conjunction with the Deacons, they are to visit the sick, the bereaved, the lonely, the aged, the shut-in, and all those who have a pastoral need. They are to study and know the Word, be equipped to teach the Word and to lead worship and prayer. The Ruling Elders have a special responsibility to see to the development of the children of the congregation, to inquire after the inactive members, to encourage new members in spiritual development, and to otherwise show care for those whom they serve. They are also responsible to warn, admonish, and reclaim those who stray. Where it is deemed necessary, they are responsible to exercise discipline in the church in accordance with the Book of Discipline.
Teaching Elders = ordained pastors
The Teaching Pastor (Teaching Elder) has the primary responsibility to expound the Word of God and to determine the form, structure and content of worship, including the celebration of the sacraments. The Teaching Pastor should model Christ-like living, provide pastoral care of the congregation and represent Saddlerock EPC in the Presbytery as part of a connectional church.
The Discipleship Pastor (Teaching Elder) has the primary responsibility of making mature disciples at SEPC and in developing disciple-making ministries at SEPC to share the good news of Jesus to a lost world. The Discipleship Pastor will be the primary liaison for SEPC staff and oversee the activities of the Lead Administrator. The Discipleship Pastor should model Christ-like living and represent Saddlerock EPC in the Presbytery as part of a connectional church.
At Saddlerock EPC the Teaching Pastor will not oversee administration or operations. The Ruling Elders will oversee these roles with responsibility delegated as needed to the Teaching and Discipleship Pastors and to Finance, Personnel and Property Ministry Teams. The Ruling Elders, Teaching Pastor, Discipleship Pastor, Deacons, and any other pastors, will provide a joint ministry to the body of Christ who have need of pastoral care, love and compassion. This model of church organization is intended to allow the Teaching Pastor to focus on exposition of the Word, corporate worship, and pastoral care of the congregation and allow the Discipleship Pastor to focus on making mature disciples at SEPC and in developing disciple-making ministries.
A Lead Administrator, which is not an ordained position, will have primary responsibility for daily church operations and oversight of support personnel. Along with the Discipleship Pastor, this person will moderate staff meetings and oversee scheduling of facilities use. This person will work closely with the Personnel Ministry Team on staff support and evaluation and be the lead contact for the Memorial Garden. The Lead Administrator will model Christ-like living and agree with the essentials of the EPC and guiding principles of SEPC.