The office of Governing Elder includes overseeing the spiritual life and well-being of local church members, exercising governing authority for the church, and maintaining the Biblical faithfulness of the congregation. At Northland the Elder Board is the highest governing authority in the church, responsible for hiring the Lead Pastor, approving the general policies and direction for the church, as well as approving and overseeing the annual budget. Governing Elders are ordained by the church; they serve an initial term of six years. The governing board of lay elders normally is composed of not less than five nor more than nine men.
Evidences of qualification are seen in one's commitment to the body of Christ through faithful attendance and being recognized by others as a wise and spiritually mature person. Our bylaws also expect that a Governing Elder will be able to transmit sound doctrine, remain a dedicated student of the scriptures, love people, and be committed to prayer.
In Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus, he give us a profile for testing our maturity level in Christ (1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-10). The following list (adapted by Gene Getz) depicts spiritual qualifications from both letters:
Practically speaking, these qualities are also essential: