What are elders?
What are elders? Elders—also called pastors, bishops, and overseers in the New Testament (Eph. 4:11; 1 Pet. 5:2; Acts 20:28)—are the leaders of the church. They are men chosen for their ministry according to clear biblical qualifications (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). The elders are always spoken of in plurality because God intends for more than one man to lead and rule over the church as a safeguard for both the church and the man. The elders’ duties include oversight of doctrine, discipline, and direction.
Redemption is an elder-governed church, not a congregational or member-governed church. It is our view that Scripture does not call for the church to be run by the members in a democratic fashion but that it clearly teaches that the elders are the directors, managers, and overseers of the church. This does not mean that the elders will not seek the input of the members when making decisions for the church. It is the desire of the elders to be as open as possible with the members of the church and to seek as much input as possible from the members in order to make decisions that reflect the conscience first of God and second of the membership of the body. It is the hope and prayer of the elders that we will lead Redemption in humility and with godly motives. We are always open to brotherly and sisterly discussion, feedback and/or advice, as long as it is done so in love and with the understanding that the final decision rests in the hands of the elders. And we would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and discernment to lead Redemption in a manner that is holy and blameless.
How are elders identified and installed at Redemption?
Because the majority of biblical qualifications for eldership are based on a man’s character, it requires an extended season of relationship to ensure a man is genuinely qualified to lead the church.
Once a man has been a member in good standing at Redemption for a minimum of six months, he is encouraged to make his aspiration toward eldership known to the existing elders. The existing council of elders must then make a unanimous decision to approve this man for the elder recruit process known as “Basic.”
Men approved for Basic then step into a 12-month season of rigorous training, testing, and assessment in areas of doctrine, pastoral counseling, and leadership. After the recruit phase is completed, the existing council of elders must again unanimously approve a man before he is fully installed as an elder at Redemption.
Meet our Planting Elder
Lead Pastor: Preaching and Vision
Email Pastor Ryan
I was born in Corvalis, Oregon but due to my dad being in the military, I grew up all over the US. Jesus saved me at the age of 6 and since that time my story has been one of Jesus’ faithfulness in the midst of my unfaithfulness. I came to Chicago in order to play college football and began to sense God’s call to pastor and plant churches that exist to know Jesus and make Him known. I live in downtown Palatine with my wife, Tami and our three kids, Ava, Ryder, & Lincoln.
Meet our Elders
Email Pastor Tyler
I was born in Rapid City, South Dakota and lived there until I was 18 years old. Jesus saved me at the age of 6 through the Awana Clubs program. The ministry call on my life came at a very young age as well. Through my spiritual journey, God lead me a different direction that I originally had believed he would which included me coming to the Chicagoland area in 2000 for 4 years and returning in the fall of 2009 to assist in planting Redemption. Prior to coming on full-time staff with Redemption in January of 2011, I had worked for Starbucks in a variety of positions over the prior 10 years and most recently as a District Manager.
Email Pastor Scott
I was born and raised in Mundelein, IL. God saved me at a young age and continued in grace to keep me and discipline me through seasons of rebellion. Around the age of 14 God called me to ministry, specifically through music. I now live with my wife Becky, our son Cohen, and our daughter Macie in Arlington Heights. Prior to coming on full-time staff with Redemption in August of 2012, I worked for Starbucks for 7 years, most recently as a Store Manager.
I was raised on a farm in Southeast Iowa. Although I have known Christ for as long as I can remember, I feel that it was not until the planting of Redemption that I began walking in light of the gospel, seeing the sovereignty of God and the depth of my sin. It was here where I truly came to know that it was by His grace that I was saved and also why He chose to save me. My wife, Jill, and our sons Ethan and Sean currently live in Arlington Heights. I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in electrical engineering and currently work for Motorola.
I grew up in a small town in southern Ohio (no stop lights, just a flashing red). Jesus rescued me from my sin when I was nine years old at a Vacation Bible School, but my faith was fairly nominal until my freshman year of college. It was then that he gave me a desire to drink deeply from his Word and grow, by grace, in my faith. After college, I worked in student ministry for several years before my wife, Bethany, and I relocated to Illinois so that I might attend seminary. I’m currently finishing school, and we are both deeply grateful for the home that Redemption has become and excited about the future that God has for our church.
What do elders do?
At Redemption the elder’s primary responsibility is the oversight of Doctrine, Direction and Discipline.
Elders are responsible for teaching the Bible accurately (Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:2), preaching (1 Tim. 5:17), teaching sound doctrine and refuting false teaching (Titus 1:9), protecting the church from false teachers (Acts 20:17-31) and caring for the people who constitute the church (1 Pet. 5:2-5; James 5:13-15).
Elders are responsible for ruling and leading the church (1 Tim. 5:17), managing the church (1 Tim. 3:4-5), giving an account for the church (Heb. 13:17), rightly stewarding the money of the church (1 Pet. 5:1-3) and training other leaders and teachers in the church (Eph. 4:11-16; 2 Tim. 2:1-2).
Elders are responsible for caring for the people who make up the church (1 Pet. 5:2-5; James 5:13-15), living exemplary lives (Heb. 13:7), rightly using the authority God has entrusted to them (Acts 20:28), and disciplining unrepentant Christians (Matt. 18:15-17).
Resources for further study:
- Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch
- Church Planter by Darrin Patrick
- The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter