The Deacon (Part two of a three part series on the ordained offices of the Presbyterian Church)

STK-many-hands-prayer-sepiaThis past week in worship we reflected on the words of Paul as he speaks about Spiritual Gifts.  Paul writes to the church in Corinth with regards to how the gifts of the Spirit are given:

      “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”          1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Today as we shift our discussion of the ordained offices from Ruling Elders to Deacons, I believe this is a great place to start.  In this passage Paul is encouraging us to remember that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives is varied and as such enables us to perform various activities.   This is a critical lesson for us to learn when discerning who is called to the different ordained offices.  Each office calls for different gifts.  Yet they are all brought to life in the shared ministry for the common good. Continue reading

The Ruling Elder (Part one of a three part series on the ordained offices of the Presbyterian Church)

ordination_50521_web   Each year our congregation goes through the discernment process of selecting leaders for our congregation. The nominating taskforce is working to recommend a slate of officers to the Session for the next class of Elders and Deacons. This is perhaps one of the most anxiety ridden times of the year. The nominating taskforce is concerned with not only getting the people to fill spots, but perhaps more importantly, the right people to answer God’s calling. Today, I will discuss the specific calling to be a Ruling Elder.
    A few years ago, Christ Presbyterian Church made a conscious effort to be more fully open to the leading and discernment of the Spirit in this process. In the past, like most congregations, our congregation would approach the selection of Elders by trying to find people who were going to be Elders for specific areas of our ministry. Examples of this would have been an Elder for Finance or Christian Education. In this model, the ability to fulfill a specific role would often trump the spiritual calling to such a leadership role. I’m sure that you have experienced in you life those who are at the top of their field for their ability, but once given leadership, fall apart. Continue reading