Elder Covenant & Shepherding Goals

VIEW PDF OF OUR Elder Covenant & Shepherding Goals


Elder's Covenant

Believing that God has called us to be overseers of His church, which He purchased with His own blood, we make this covenant together.

I recognize that in order for us to serve as a united team, it will be necessary to meet as a group of elders and wives on a regular basis.  I will make these meetings a top priority and commit to be at them. If married, it will be a priority for my wife as well as she extends a crucial element of shepherding to the women in our flock.

I will care for and tend to my own soul through spiritual disciplines to guard against sin and religious hypocrisy.

I will love and care for my family, understanding that if I don’t manage my own home well, I am in no position to care for God’s church.

I will strive to faithfully and responsibly shepherd God’s flock here at Village Bible Church in accordance with the guidelines set forth in God’s Word and in the role set forth in our church constitution.

I will remember the way in which God gently, graciously, and patiently shepherds me as I live out my calling as an under-shepherd of God’s people seeking to gently, graciously, and patiently shepherd them.

I will lovingly exercise discipline when necessary, for the glory of God, the good of the one disciplined and the health of the church as a whole. I will remember the love God shows for me in His discipline and correction as I seek to lovingly carry out the discipline and correction of God’s people in this local church.

I will humbly and thankfully accept correction and rebuke myself, believing that God uses His people to sharpen one another for their good and His glory.

I will seek to teach God’s word in such a way that God is glorified, God’s people are strengthened in grace, and non-Christians can understand the gospel and be saved.

I will seek to shepherd & teach in the power of the Holy Spirit in order that in all things God may receive glory.

I will strive in all ways possible to foster Christlikeness and preserve unity with my fellow elders through seeking consensus in all decision-making.

I will endeavor to watch over the other elders in love, as they watch over me. I will strive to remember them in prayer, help them in sickness and distress, promote their spiritual growth, restrain them from sin and stir them up to love and good deeds.

In humble reliance upon the Holy Spirit, I will strive to carry out my membership commitments fully.

I will model the biblical example of faithful stewardship by contributing cheerfully and regularly to this church, aiming to give a first fruits tithe of my household income back to God.

I will maintain doctrinal unity with a humble spirit and will teach and minister in a manner that is faithful and supportive of the VBC Statement of Doctrine and the VBC Teaching Positions.

I acknowledge that implicit within this commitment is the consent to be governed by the Relational Commitments of this church that address peacemaking and reconciliation, accountability and church discipline, marriage and divorce, counseling and confidentiality, and the protection of our children.

I will maintain a lifestyle and heart that is faithful to the VBC Commitment to Pure and Christian Living as outlined in our Relational Commitments and also to the Biblical qualifications of elders outlined in or Ministry of Elders & Their Wives teaching position: Above Reproach; Husband of One Wife; Temperate; Respectable; Prudent; Hospitable; Able to Teach; Not Addicted to Alcohol or other substances; Not Pugnacious; Free From the Love of Money; Manage His Household Well; A Good Reputation with Those Outside; Not Contentious/Not Self-Willed; Devout in his time with the Lord; Not Double Tongued; Loving What Is Good.

VBC Shepherding Goals

Our commitment to the people of VBC is that they and their families will be shepherded by the elders and their wives.

  1. We will embrace you as a part of our family. (I John 4:7-8)
  2. We will equip you to mature spiritually. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
  3. We will encourage you to stay on course in your relationship with God and care for you when you encounter trials and uncertainties. (Hebrews 10:23-25; Acts 2:42-47)
  4. We will enrich your life by keeping you on a mission that has value and significance and invites God's presence into your life on a daily basis. (John 10:10; I Corinthians 1:4-9)

We believe and teach that the Scriptures are clear on the definition of shepherding the flock. We use words such as lead, feed, heed, guide, discipline, support and protect as we summarize passages such as Acts 20, I Timothy 3, Titus 1, Ephesians 4, and I Peter 5. But we have to ask ourselves, "What does this mean for us at VBC?" The following statements are criteria we use for measuring whether we have been faithful to scripture when it comes to "shepherding" the flock.

(Due to the differing commitments of those who simply attend VBC and those who have committed to membership, we differentiate between “attenders” and “members.”)

An attender of VBC is considered "shepherded" when:

  1. You have an opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel, profess Christ as Savior, and Lord, and be baptized publicly.
  2. You have an opportunity to attend a membership class where our doctrine and philosophy of ministry are explained clearly, your questions are answered openly and with sensitivity, and you have had the opportunity to join the church.
  3. You have the opportunity to engage in corporate worship with the Body at least weekly.
  4. You are receiving a steady diet of Biblical teaching, both on Sunday morning and at other studies during the week.
  5. You have access to personal discipleship, whether one-on-one or in a small or large group.
  6. You have access to counsel and equipping concerning your spiritual gifts and callings, with opportunity for training in practical ministry skills.
  7. You have the opportunity, once equipped, to engage in meaningful ministry.
  8. You are prayed for regularly and have the opportunity to be involved in corporate prayer on a regular basis for others.
  9. You have opportunity to have regular supportive fellowship in a small group context and are held accountable for it.

In addition to the above, one who has committed to membership is considered "shepherded" when:

  1. You have regular access to information concerning the direction of the church, leadership decisions, and specific information concerning various church ministries, as appropriate, and to vote on items that are brought before the membership.
  2. You have access to the church leadership team for the purpose of registering questions, complaints, concerns, and suggestions.
  3. You have access to counsel and guidance concerning the major areas of your life: your walk with God, your marriage, family, job, finances, and other major decisions.
  4. You have access to the leadership in times of need such as funerals, weddings, etc.
  5. You are checked on regularly for information regarding needs and concerns and are able to regularly share them with a member of the leadership team.
  6. You are protected from defection from the faith by regular exposure of false doctrine through teaching and by being held accountable for your daily walk with Christ.
  7. You are held accountable, admonished, confronted, and even disciplined, if necessary, for your sake and for the sake of the Body.

(For more information on membership: www.villagebible.org/whymembership)