Chapter 7: Church Officers and their Duties (pages 45 to 72)
This information will be found in Chapter 8 of the new manual and the name of this chapter has been changed to Local Church Officers and Organizations.
The 59th GC Session approved 16 changes to this section of the church manual.
Setting Tithing Example - All officers shall set an example in the matter of returning a faithful tithe to the church. Anyone who fails to set such an example shall not be elected to church office. Appears on page 71 of 18th Edition
Approved a slight change to page 54 regarding the local church Elder serving as a delegate to a conference session, Just the wording has changed not the intent of the text.
Not Delegates Ex Officio - No church officer is a delegate ex officio to a conference session. If the church wants an officer to serve as a delegate, it must elect that officer as a delegate.
The following text was added to the section for Elders, Relationship to the Pastor
Relationship to the Pastor -- If the conference committee assigns a pastor or pastors to the congregation, the pastor or senior pastor if more than one, should be considered the ranking officer and the local edlers as assistants. Since their work is closely related, they should work together harmoniously. The pastor should not assume all lines of responsibility but should share these with the elders and other officers. The pastor serving the church regularly acts as the chairperson of the board. (see page xx) There may be circumstances, however, when it would be advisable for an elder to act as chairperson. The pastoral work of the church should be shared by the pastor and the elders. In counsel with the pastor, the elders should visit members, minister to the sick, foster prayer ministries, arrange or lead out in anointing services and child dedications, encourage the disheartened, and assist in other pastoral responsibilities. As undershepherds, elders should exercise constant vigilance over the flock. Appears on page 72 of 18th Edition
The following text was added to the section for Elders, Conducting Church Services.
Conducting Church Services -- Under the pastor, or in the absence of the pastor, an elder is responsible for the services of the church and must either conduct them to arrange for someone to do so. Communion services must always be conducted by an ordained / commissioned pastor or local edler. The pastor usually chairs the business meeting. In the absence of the pastor, and with approval of the pastor or the conference president, an elder should serve as chairperson. Appears on page 73 of the 18th Edition
The following text was added to the section for Elders, Marriage Ceremony
Marriage Ceremony -- In a marriage ceremony, the charge, vows, and declaration of marriage are given only by an ordained pastor except in those areas where division committees have approved that selected licensed or commissioned pastors who have been ordained as local elders may perform the ceremony (see page 34). Local laws may require that persons conducting marriage ceremonies also hold state licensure / permit to do so. An ordained pastor, a licensed or commissioned pastor, or an elder may deliver the sermonette, offer the prayer, and give the blessing. (See Note #1, page 167) Appears on page 73 - 74 of the 18th Edition
The following text was added to the section for Elders, To Foster Bible Study, Prayer and Relationship with Jesus
To Foster Bible Study, Prayer, and a Relationship with Jesus -- As spiritual leaders, elders are responsible for encouraging members to develop a personal relationship with Jesus by strengthening their habits of personal Bible study and prayer. An effective personal prayer life of every member, supporting all ministries and programs of the local church,will enhance the church's mission. Elders may ask the board to appoint a council to assist in this role of development and encouragement. Appears on page 74 of the 18th Edition
The following text was added to the section for Elders, To Cooperate with the Conference
To Cooperate with the Conference -- The pastor, elders, and all officers should cooperate with conference officers and departmental directors in carrying out approved plans. They should inform the church of all regular and special offerings, promote all the programs and activities of the church, and encourage all officers to support conference plans and policies.
Appears on page 74 of the 18th Edition
The following text was added to the section for Deacons, Assistance at Communion Service
Remaining bread and wine should not be consumed, but disposed of in a respectful manner by deacons and deaconesses following the Lord's Supper.
The following text was added to the section for Deaconesses, Board of Deaconesses
Board of Deaconesses -- If a church elects several deaconesses, it should organize a board of deaconesses chaired by the head deaconess and another deaconess serving as secretary. This board is authorized to assign duties to individual deaconesses and cooperates closely with the board of deacons, especially in welcoming members and visitors and in home visitation. (see page 76, 77) It also provides a training ground where new deaconesses are instructed in their duties. Appears on page 78 of the 18th Edition
The following test as added to the Section for Deaconesses, Induction Service for Deaconesses