Who We Are
The Elder Team
Since Jesus Christ is the 'head of the body, the church' (Colossians 1.18), he alone is the Leader of our church. We believe that he guides us as a church through his word and Spirit as we yield to his loving leadership. As the 'chief shepherd,' Jesus appoints some believers in the church family as 'undershepherds' (1 Peter 5.4) to provide leadership and pastoral care under his guidance. These individuals are called 'Elders.'
At Grace Community Church (GCC), there are two types of elders:
• Leading Elders (or 'Ruling Elders,' 1 Tim. 5.17) — men drawn from our congregation who work in the community and are not paid by the church for their ministry.
• Teaching Elders (1 Tim. 5.17) — men who, in addition to their leadership responsibilities, also serve on the paid pastoral staff of our church.
These names for our elders, drawn from 1 Timothy 5.17, are simply descriptive terms. Both Leading and Teaching Elders possess the same character and behavior qualifications (as outlined in 1 Timothy). They also equally share in leading and guiding our church (whether they are paid or unpaid).
Our Lead Pastor, who is also a Teaching Elder, serves as moderator of the Elders' meetings. He is responsible, under the authority of the Elders, for the leadership and nurturing of the Staff Team of the church. As the church grows in size, it also grows in its administrative and ministry complexity. When this happens, the Elders form other teams who deal with matters of administration, finances, and world missions. These teams then function, under the guidance of the Elders to assist the Elders, the Staff, and the entire Body to fulfill our vision and mission.
In order to help the Elder Team function in a healthy, balanced way, members of the team periodically rotate off of the team for a season of personal renewal (called a ‘sabbatical’). When this happens, the Elder becomes known as an ‘adjunct’ rather than ‘active’ elder. The following descriptions highlight the differences between active and adjunct elders:
• Active Elders — attend meetings and lead our church.
• Adjunct Elders — do not attend meetings but do serve our church.
• Elders rotate between ‘active’ and ‘adjunct’ on a cycle (two to three years on and one year off. Because of life changes, an elder may choose to become a ‘permanent adjunct’ elder who will not return to regularly meeting and leading.
The GCC Elder Team includes:
Pat Fuelling (in training)
Dave Stanton (in training)
Tom Wallace (on sabbatical)