If you don't get hung up by his repeated use of the word "dude" there are some helpful insights on forming elder teams in new churches.
One of his principles is that the process of becoming an elder in a church plant should take a few years and include the following elements:
Of course, when Paul established churches in the book of Acts he didn't have that much time to train elders.
- The man must have been faithfully involved in the church for at least a year so that he is known.
- The man must have proven himself loyal, mature, theologically astute, teachable, generous with his service of others, and generous with his financial giving to even be considered.
- The man must already be doing some pastoral work in the church with people looking to him for leadership not because he holds an official position but rather because he naturally leads through holiness and gifting.
- The man must be a functional fit in ministry philosophy, personal style, and relational connection with the lead pastor and any other potential elders.
- The man must desire to be an elder and make his desire known to the lead elder.
- The lead elder must interview him and his wife to see if they qualify for elder training.
- The lead pastor must be able to consider the candidate a peer, someone he wants his sons to be like and his daughters to marry, with a marriage and family that he wants replicated throughout the church.
- The lead elder must provide a six-month to one-year formal training process that includes leadership, teaching, reading, homework, etc., to test and approve the elder candidate.
- If an elder candidate passes the testing and training period he should be brought before the church body and introduced. The church should have a few weeks to ask him any questions and raise any concerns to the lead pastor.
- If the elder candidate is found worthy of the position, he and his family should be brought before the church and installed with the laying on of hands.
- Once someone is appointed as an elder/pastor they should be referred to with their title to preserve the respect of the man and the office. The lead pastor should set that example.