For the Flock (FtF) is a two-year training fellowship that aims to raise up future elders by equipping men who aspire to provide shepherding leadership in the local church.
While the training will sharpen a participant’s theological understanding and develop his shepherding heart and skills, the goal of the training has a greater end. It is designed “for the flock”, both the local flock of Christ Church South Metro Atlanta and the greater flock of Christ’s global church.
Participants will receive training in two main areas: (1) theology and (2) practical shepherding. It is expected that the training will consist of a two-year program. The training includes teaching, reading of key books and articles, discussion and presentations by participants. Christ Church is a member of the Treasuring Christ Together (TCT) Network, which requires that elders affirm the TCT Affirmation of Faith (tctnetwork.org/affirmation-of-faith). The Affirmation of Faith provides the foundation for theological unity among the elders and key parts of it will be discussed in the training.
There will be two types of participants:
(1) Prospective Elders: For those who have been identified as potential elders at Christ Church. Congregation makes nominations for potential elder candidates. The current elders function as a Nominating Committee, making final determination regarding who is invited to participate in the Elder Training.
(2) Pastoral Interns: For those who desire to serve in a pastoral intern role, usually younger men who are pursuing formal seminary training. The elders will identify and invite those who have evidenced aptitude and potential for pastoral ministry.
Both Prospective Elders and Pastoral Interns will be invited in early June to participate in the training, which begins in September (see below).
Key Dates for 2023-24
- Orientation Meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
- Theological Sessions will meet on Sunday afternoons from 3:00-5:00 pm on Sept 10, Oct 8, Nov 12, Dec 10 (2nd Sunday) and Jan 7, Feb 4, Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5 (first Sunday).
- Shepherding Sessions will meet on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9:00 pm on Sep 26, Oct 24, Nov 21, Jan 23, Feb 20, Mar 19, Apr 16, May 21 (3rd or 4th Sunday).
- Two Conferences
February 12, 2024 - One-Day Conference in Atlanta, GA (Feed My Sheep)
March 12-14, 2024 - Overnight Conference in Matthews, NC (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)
1. Is there an expectation that completing the course of study means that a person will serve as an elder?
While we hope that many of those who complete the training will serve as an elder at Christ Church, completion of the training does not necessarily mean that a person will become an elder. Our Constitution states (emphasis added):
“The Elders shall take particular responsibility to… examine and recommend all prospective candidates for offices and positions” (IV.4.A).
“In order to be eligible for election as an Elder, a man shall have been a Member in good standing in the church for at least one year, shall have received appropriate training under the direction or with the approval of the Elders, and shall have served the Church in functions requiring responsible leaders (IV.4.B).
“Non-staff Elders will, upon approval of the Elders and 2/3 affirmation of the Membership, serve a term of three years, with the possibility of being affirmed for a second three-year term” (IV.4.C).
Thus, the elders examine, train and recommend prospective elders for service, and the congregation affirms God’s call and preparation of them to serve in this role.
2. Can additional prospective elders and pastoral interns join during the two-year program of study?
Yes. We anticipate that during the two-year program of study, additional participants may join in, but it is expected that they will eventually complete the entire program.
3. Does a participant need to complete the entire two-year program in order to serve as an elder?
We anticipate that in most instances participants will complete the two-year program prior to serving as an elder. However, we realize that there may be some exceptions to this.
4. Will there be an opportunity for interacting with and learning from other like-minded pastors and church leaders?
Yes. We hope that all prospective elders and pastoral interns will join Christ Church leaders at the Coram Deo PastorsConference hosted by Pastor Kevin DeYoung at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina on March 12-14, 2024.
5. Who will be leading the sessions?
Pastor Zach Fallon will lead the Shepherding Sessions and Steve Krogh will lead the Theological Sessions.