The purpose of this article is to let you know about some small changes taking place regarding the governing board of Good News Church. The main things that are happening are that one elder (Adam Lusk) has rolled off the board after having completed his term as elder, two other elders (Lance Powers and Charles Chazal) have continued into their second terms as elders. And another person (Ron Lynch) has been nominated to take the place vacated by Adam Lusk.
This is not something that I write about much since changes happen fairly infrequently around here. In fact, I think the last time I wrote anything in the newsletter about the governing board was about two years ago when Adam Lusk and Charles Chazal joined the board. I did mention the elders and the governing board in a couple of sermons back on March 18 and April 8 of 2018 when we were preaching through 1 Timothy and the topics of authority and church leadership came up. So I think that means: if you’ve only been attending here for a year or two, and if you happened to miss church on March 18 and April 8, it’s possible that you don’t even know much about what an elder is or what the governing board does. So, here (below) is a quick primer including a description of the newest elder candidate.
1. WHAT IS AN ELDER AT GOOD NEWS CHURCH?
Good News Church is governed by a group of people that we call elders. We use that word because it is an English translation of a Greek word found the in the Bible: “presbuteros.” The word refers to a godly man who leads (and often teaches) in a church. There are a couple of other Greek words in the Bible that also refer to church leaders, and when translated into English they are words like overseer, shepherd, bishop, and pastor. And it seems to us that the New Testament even uses these terms somewhat interchangeably in passages like 1 Timothy 3:1-5 & 5:17, Titus 1:6-7, 1 Peter 5:1-2, and Ephesians 4:11. So, long story short, elder is a Bible word for church leader.
At Good News, the elder's oversight includes teaching, protecting, leading, discipling, equipping, and caring for the church body, as well as oversight of all ministry, operations, and finances of the church. They are responsible to be obedient to the Scriptures, and they appoint new elders as needed. Additionally, elders are almost always leaders of community groups or study groups. (However, not every group leader serves on the governing board.) The board usually meets once per month to discuss business decisions, big-picture items, and we are almost always reading and discussing a book about how to do ministry better. This board is the human authority (under God) over the non-profit organization, Good News Church of Ocala, and thus they have the power to amend or restate the by-laws or make big changes (for instance they have the power to fire me.) As far as my job goes, they are the group to whom I’m accountable, however, they typically do not run the day-to-day operations. The elders delegate to me (and I, in turn, delegate to other staff members and volunteers) oversight of the day-to-day activities and programs of the church. And yet, as you’ll see below, sometimes the elders are some of the very volunteers who run those activities and programs.
2. WHY ARE THERE ANY CHANGES HAPPENING AT ALL?
According to our bylaws, elders serve on the governing board for two-year terms. After they have completed a term, they can roll off the board, or be nominated to a second two year term. After three terms (or six years) they must take a mandatory sabbatical year off the board. The only exception to that is the senior pastor, who does not have to take one year off of the board every seven years, but does take a few months off from his job every seven years.
Adam Lusk completed his term and just recently rolled off the board. Charles Chazal and Lance Powers have re-upped for second terms. And Bruce Hawk is actually beginning his sixth year as an elder here and will roll off the board next January. (So, I’ll probably be writing another announcement like this one in about 10 months.) The current elders (Bruce, Charles, Mario, and Lance) have nominated Ron Lynch to replace Adam on the board.
3. WHO IS RON LYNCH?
Many of you already know Ron. Ron is one of the leaders of the Lynch/Stanley community group and he serves as a co-leader (along with his wife Linda) of the hospitality team. Additionally, Ron is in charge of the sound team (the people who run the sound board/microphones, etc. in the back booth). Ron is the Supervisor of Technical Training for ClearOne based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he is also the father of 6 and grandfather of 17.
4. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SOMEONE WHO IS A PART OF GOOD NEWS CHURCH?
Well, there are two main things we want you to know that relate to your responsibility as the people of Good News Church:
First, if you know anything about Ron that you think we need to know, now is your time to let us know. In fact, this is what our church bylaws say about this: “Typically, the attendees of the church will be allowed to raise concerns before any prospective elder is confirmed. However, confirmation of the elder will be at the final discretion of the elders.” This means that while we’ve chosen Ron as a man that we believe fits the qualifications of an elder (see 1 Timothy 3:1-7) we wanted to give you all the chance to let us know if there is anything in contradiction to that, that we need to know. If there is a particular unrepentant sin or a character issue that you are aware of that hasn’t been dealt with, please contact us and let us know. Otherwise, if there are no legitimate accusations that would disqualify him, then he will be officially installed as an elder, probably sometime in April.
Second, assuming Ron is confirmed as the next elder in April, please pray for him. As a church leader he must live a life worth imitating, and he is planning on setting aside even more time to serve the church than he has in the past. Also, be prepared to submit to him as a leader in this church. Hebrews 13:7 & 17 say, “Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith…Obey your leaders and submit to them for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”