How does East White Oak choose leaders?
The church’s board (elders/deacons) submit nominations to replace/renew board members with expiring terms. From the list of nominees some are invited to complete an application process. This includes a questionnaire with some sections completed by the nominee and others by his wife. Applications are reviewed and nominees are interviewed by an elder. Nominees are voted on by the elders. This process may take weeks or months. Each step along the way is prayerfully taken.
Approved nominees become candidates. Candidates are then presented to the congregation for consideration/confirmation. This typically happens at the church’s annual meeting, however, there are occasions when an elder/deacon is unable to complete his term and the congregation is asked to convene for the purpose of approving a nominee to serve out an uncompleted term. Terms are three years. The terms are staggered so that there are generally one third of the terms expiring in any given year.
Each year three pastors serve as elders. The Senior Pastor and the Senior Associate Pastor serve without sabbatical. One of the other pastors is always actively serving as an elder. This role rotates annually among the Associate Pastors. The number of lay elders must always exceed the number of Pastors serving as elders in any year.
An elder may be approved for a second term, however, after two consecutive terms elders are required to take at least one sabbatical year.
Deacons are not required to take a sabbatical year and may serve as many consecutive terms as the elders may determine as prudent.