Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. - Mark 12:30
MPPC & Governance
We believe the Church is the community through which God wants to bring love, healing, and growth to the human race, and to which he invites everyone to follow Jesus and join. MPPC is one church in many locations, pursuing our mission to bless the Bay Area for Jesus through a transforming relationship with Christ and authentic community with each other. We are part of the denomination ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO) and, in keeping with our Presbyterian heritage, our congregation elects elders to govern the church. Elders work closely with staff leadership and represent the congregation as a body across all campuses to provide oversight and governance of the church’s ministry, spiritual health, long-term strategy, finances, and administration.
The church’s governing body is called the Session. Session focuses on discernment and strategy to guide the church’s biblical mission in the world; on the spiritual health of the congregation, including discipline; and on oversight of church resources and staff accomplishment through the senior pastor, to whom it delegates ministry leadership and church operations.
The church is now inviting the congregation to recommend elder candidates for election at the upcoming Fall 2014 congregational meeting. MPPC revised its bylaws on June 1, 2014, as part of joining ECO and for greater ministry impact. The current Session (24 elders plus ordained staff) is overseeing a transition process this year under the new bylaws to a Session of nine elders plus the senior pastor:
To Make a Nomination - Elder Candidate Form
If you would like to nominate a member of the church for elder, please review the description of the elder role and qualifications, discuss your intentions with the person you are nominating, and submit an Elder Nomination Form. Please fill out the Elder Candidate Form and return it to the church at NAC, MPPC, 950 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025. If you have any questions or need assistance with your nomination, please email: [email protected] and a member of the Nominating Advisory Committee will respond to you.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
– Ephesians 4:11-13
Call to be an Elder
Serving as elder involves a mutual discerning of call by a member of the church and by the Session, as well as the church body. This discernment involves a prayerful, Spiritled assessment based on the leadership needs of the church and the Session, and the gifts, wisdom, experience, and spiritual maturity of elder candidates.
Session Terms & Time Commitments
Responsibilities of the Session & Elders
As an ECO church, MPPC is governed by its Session. Comprised of nine elected elders and the senior pastor, Session has responsibility and authority for governing the congregation and guiding its mission for Christ in the world. In our Reformed tradition, Session ensures that the church, through delegation to staff and lay leaders, proclaims the Word, celebrates the Sacraments, and exercises discipline. Session also ensures the provision of worship and ministries, pastoral care and guidance for the congregation, and oversight of the spiritual, financial, and organizational health of the church. MPPC is committed to pursuing its mission as a church with God-honoring love, zeal, and excellence in all that we are and do.
Therefore, specific Session elder responsibilities for leadership, governance and oversight include:
PROVIDE FOR SPIRITUAL OVERSIGHT
SHEPHERD THE FLOCK
ENGAGE IN DISCERNMENT, PLANNING & STRATEGY
OVERSEE CHURCH MANAGEMENT
1. SOUND CHARACTER & DEEP SPIRITUAL MATURITY
A woman or man of sound moral character and deep spiritual maturity, based on the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Titus 1:6-9, summarized as possessing the personal characteristics of:
2. WISE & SPIRITUALLY DISCERNING
Biblically literate and a Spirit-led, prayerful, wise disciple of Jesus. Has a sound understanding of the dynamics and practices of spiritual discernment, that is, the ability to recognize and respond to the presence and the activity of God, both in every day moments and in the larger decisions. As an individual, is committed to discerning and doing the will of God as it is revealed through the help of the Holy Spirit and, as a potential member of Session, would be similarly committed to lead through group spiritual discernment.
3. ABLE TO LEAD & TEACH
Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships and to persuade, convene, facilitate, and build consensus among diverse individuals, manage key projects or assignments, able to communicate effectively, and able to exhort sound doctrine. Skillful in instruction or teaching by possessing both the requisite knowledge and the ability to communicate it to others.
4. COMPETENT & EXPERIENCED IN GOVERNANCE
Is a critical, insightful thinker with effective communication skills and problem-solving abilities, and can assess, identify and confront issues skillfully and appropriately. Demonstrates the relevant gifts, skills, and practical leadership experience in organizational management, administration, organizational savvy in strategy, planning and operations, knowledge of and experience in governance and oversight, and important functional areas of expertise (e.g., law, finance, human resources).
5. SERVANT LEADERSHIP STYLE
Possesses the tangible quality of being able to work well with, to get along with, and contribute to the board functioning as a high performing team—a team that works in relational harmony, with common purpose and goals, trust, respect, and mutual accountability. Adds to the effectiveness of the board, by being able to contribute selflessly, and to submit to and be part of the team effort of the board.
6. HIGH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Able to speak truth in love, able to disagree but not be contentious, able to identify and resolve problems, able to enter into difficult exchanges to defend the faith or MPPC or people in ways that preserve the church community. Possessing high self-awareness, self-reflection and selfcriticism as appropriate in the varying situations, roles, and responsibilities of Session.
7. CULTURAL AWARENESS
Possesses social awareness of the unique cultural fabric of the Bay Area in this generation and a broad knowledge of communities within and outside of MPPC, as the context for ministry. Creative and thoughtful in their approach to reach, connect with, and care for people in the community.
Additional Considerations in the Elder Candidate Evaluation Process