What Are Elders, Deacons and Trustees?


Elders are elected by the congregation to lead the church in life and mission. They are mature followers of Jesus who together seek to understand and do God's will by equipping, teaching, and encouraging all the members of the church. There are two kinds of elders. 

Shepherding Elders focus on nurturing the faith and life of the congregation.  They seek to train and equip the congregation for service through roles as Parish leaders, teachers and small group leaders, and leading in mission ministries.  

Governing Elders are Shepherding Elders who for a short term (3 years) serve in overseeing and leading the direction of the church.  Acting in unity together they are called "the Session" trusting that God gives wisdom and direction to the gathered body of elders beyond what he does with them as individuals. They guide the church in strategic planning, stimulating generosity, leadership development, and oversee finances and personnel.


Deacons are elected by the congregation to lead the church in service and love. The Deacons are mature followers of Jesus who assist the elders by encouraging and stimulating the connection and care between people in the church and the extension of that to the community. They chiefly do this through Third’s Parish Areas and Parish Groups.  They also lead the church in cultivating hospitality (greeting, ushering, and fellowship gatherings), and development ministry (financial assistance and mentoring, Jobs for Life classes, and practical assistance).


Trustees are elected by congregation to help manage and care for the facility and grounds and the organizational life of the congregation.  They are employing wisdom to ensure that the care for and best use of the resources that God has given to the church. They are concerned with maintenance, improvements, matters of security and safety, good financial management, and policies that help use the church resources well.