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Non-Staff Elder Candidate

On Sunday, 2/3 the elders presented Ryan Yoho as a non-staff elder candidate to the covenant membership.

Ryan has lived in Northern Virginia since childhood. Blessed with growing up with Christian parents, he trusted in Christ at an early age, but experienced significant growth in his faith while in college at Duke University. After four years in the Air Force, he and his wife Lacey moved back to the DC area in 2003, and have been members at Grace Bible Church since 2007. Ryan and Lacey have four girls and two boys, and have served at GBC in a variety of ways over the years. He enjoys unpacking scripture and teaching and encouraging others with God's truth. Ryan is employed as a government contractor in the area of data analytics, and likes to keep up with current events, coach youth baseball, and root for the Nationals.

Ryan served as a Deacon (2006 – 2011) and as an Elder (2011 – 2018). In February 2018, the three non-staff elders, including Ryan, resigned as elders. Each had served through a long period that saw conflict amongst the previous pastoral staff. Ryan and the others agreed that it was in the best interest of GBC to resign in order to allow the staff pastors the opportunity to form a new elder team, and to implement much-needed guidelines for how the elder team should operate. Ryan’s resignation was not due to any disqualification or any lack of calling to the office.

What is an elder?

An elder is a man given by God to the church to shepherd, oversee, and lead the flock (i.e. Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11). This is why GBC does not vote on elders; we do not make a man an elder. Rather, the church affirms the reality of who God has already made him to be by conferring upon him the title of elder.

All elders are expected to lead, oversee, and shepherd the flock. As evidenced in Acts 20:17-28, the terms elder (20:17), overseer (20:28), and shepherd (20:18), which is also translated as pastor in Ephesians 4:11, are all complimentary titles and actions, speaking to the same office. The fact that some Grace Bible Church (GBC) elders may be compensated to work full-time at the ministry (1 Tim. 5:17), and others are not, is a convention of wisdom. There is no distinction between those who are paid and those who are not in terms of authority, responsibility, or accountability to carry out the work of a pastor, elder, and overseer.

How does a man become an elder at Grace Bible Church?

The elder team shall nominate a man, examine him during a period of candidacy to see if he is biblically qualified, and present him before the covenant membership for wisdom. Upon successful completion of that process, the elder team shall formally appoint him to the office of elder. More on the elder candidacy process can be found in the Handbook for Elders.

Where are we in the candidacy process?

The candidacy process is not over. The elder team is presenting the elder candidate--Ryan Yoho--to the covenant members to gain their wisdom on him.

Ryan, after being nominated by the elder team to be an elder candidate, has completed a rigorous process of evaluation by the elder team. Nothing was identified as disqualifying, according to the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4, and he has proven, through active service, to possess exemplary character and adequate gifting and experience to be an elder.

What are you looking for from the covenant membership in this part of the process?

Over the next thirty days (2/3/19 - 3/5/19), the covenant members exercise the primary role in the candidacy process through their responsibility to offer wisdom about the elder candidate. This is not a perfunctory part of the process, but is a critical step in helping the elders to confirm that Ryan is qualified and called by God to be an elder of Grace Bible Church (GBC).

Covenant members are encouraged to read, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4 which list the biblical qualifications for an elder and listen to the sermon on Identifying Elders from March 18, 2018 found at www.gbclorton.com/identifyingelders. Additionally, they are encouraged to read Section 1 Qualifications in the Handbook for Elders.

Covenant members are asked to direct their wisdom about the elder candidate to any or all members of the elder team, either in person, in writing, or by electronic communication. Anonymous information cannot be considered.

The elder team will welcome and consider all wisdom and observations about the candidate’s ministry skills, personality, and/or biblical qualifications. The elder team may ask the covenant member to also speak with the candidate directly.

If a covenant member has an accusation of sin against Ryan, for the love of brother, the member should follow Matthew 18:15 and speak first with him. If any concern remains, the member should follow Matthew 18:16 and “take one or two witnesses with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” If any concern still remains, then the member should speak directly with any or all of the elder team for the pursuit of reconciliation. If any concern still remains, the elder team shall then decide whether to enter into the formal restoration process, as outlined in the GBC Restoration Policy.