eldership at cg midtown

* * * * The 2018 nomination period has closed and elders will no longer be accepting nominations for new members. * * * *

The current elders at CG Midtown need your help! We are looking to add new elders and would like to invite you into that process with us. To do so, we expect you might need answers to some questions, such as...

• What is the role of an elder at CG Midtown?

• What are the qualifications for eldership?

• What does the nomination and approval process look like?

the role of an elder

The elders at Common Ground Midtown shepherd the people, vision, finances and partnerships of the church. Collectively, the elders carry the responsibility and authority of the church, and steward the spiritual, relational, and financial health of the church body. They pursue God’s will for the church through a Spirit-led process of discernment and through consensus decision making.

They delegate leadership to staff and ministry teams to carry out ministry initiatives and work closely with staff and those teams to ensure unity in vision and mission. Ultimately, the eldership strives to be faithful in carrying out the mission we believe God has for our church: To call people of all ages to be formed into the image of Jesus so that we can love our neighbors in Indianapolis and around the world. 

the commitment of an elder

The role of elder is costly, both emotionally and physically, and nominees will be asked to count the cost of their service as they discern their next steps.

Elders are expected to participate in an annual retreat (one weekend), and attend monthly meetings (2-4 hours per month). Review of elder materials, emails, policies, meeting preparation, and team conference calls require an additional 4-6 hours (on average) per month.

In addition to the regular elder meetings, team responsibilities (Vision Team, Admin Team, shepherd leading) and one-on-one meetings with congregants take additional hours each month. If serious issues arise that require immediate attention by elder board, additional hours may be required outside of regular elder meetings.

The elders value intimacy, continuity, and commitment to ensure a Spirit-led leadership community. Elders commit to serving two-year terms. For the first year in eldership, each new elder will engage in a mentorship with an experienced elder. 

After each two-year-term, elders who wish to serve another term may do so by unanimous approval of the other elders. All elders shall be commissioned before the church prior to each two-year term of service to renew commitment to the church.

Elders may serve up to three consecutive two-year terms before participating in a mandatory 12-month sabbatical from eldership. After each sabbatical year, elders may choose to return to serve in the same capacity if approved unanimously by existing elders.

qualifications for eldership

Practically, much of what an elder does can be seen in who an elder is. The men and women who serve as elders at Common Ground Midtown are, first and foremost, to be shepherds of God’s people and examples to the flock.  Experience in taking care of others and demonstrating a disciplined, Spirit-led, God-filled life toward the person of Jesus Christ ensure that our elders are seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, and not their own.

There are several scriptures that list the character qualifications for eldership (listed below).  Our elders aspire to live lives worthy of the calling they have received (Ephesians 4:1). Elders will be hospitable, proven, and above reproach.



  •  Not violent or quick-tempered

  •  Not quarrelsome

  •  Not malicious talkers

  •  Encouraging others through sound doctrine

  •  Eager to serve


  • Respectable

  • Able to teach

  • Manages own household well

  • Not a recent convert

  • Good reputation with outsiders

  • Examples to the flock

above reproach

  • Faithful in marriage or in singleness

  • Temperate and self-controlled

  • Not given to drunkenness

  • Not greedy for money or a lover of money

  • Blameless

  • Upright, holy, and disciplined


leadership experience

In addition to the Biblical qualifications, we are looking for nominees who have demonstrated a commitment to the mission and vision of our church. We will consider nominees who have been a part of Common Ground for at least three years and have proven gifting and passion in some form of pastoral leadership role within the church over an extended period of time (i.e. house church, Journey USA, The Journey, youth ministry, etc.).  


elder nomination process timeline

  1. Nominations submitted by congregation • October 28 - December 2

  2. Nominees and elders discern together • 3-4 months

  3. Candidates selected and presented to congregation for feedback • 30 days

  4. Current eldership considers feedback and reaches consensus regarding candidates

  5. New elders installed


eldership faq

Can I nominate a member of CG staff to be an elder?
The CG Bylaws designate the Lead Pastor as an elder. However, after consideration of the dual roles played by staff-elders, it was determined that each serves the church best by fulfilling independent responsibilities. As such, Jim Matthies and Jeff Reichanadter will be transitioning out of eldership over the next several months.

Will current elders be making nominations?
All congregants are welcome to submit nominations, including elders.

What is the agenda of a typical elder meeting?
A normal agenda consists of prayer, worship, updates on personal lives, a review of minutes from various ministry team meetings when appropriate (admin team, vision team, etc.), and then conversation around any new opportunities that we believe God is calling us to pay attention to.

Are there specific gifts or backgrounds you are looking for in new elders? 
We would like to have a well-rounded gift mix (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher) and personality profiles (Enneagram triads of head, heart, and gut), but elders are most interested in people who feel a calling to serve our church community and meet the qualifications of eldership. The elders’ discernment will be around our sense of the Holy Spirit’s calling in people’s lives and their readiness to serve our congregation. We trust that the Spirit will reveal to us who we need as our new elders.

Has Common Ground ever sought the congregation’s input for new elders? Is this a common practice?  
While CG Midtown has always presented elder candidates to the congregation for examination and feedback before they are installed, this is the first time the elders have asked for congregational input in the nomination process. The practices of leadership selection vary greatly between churches and denominations.

How many new elders are we looking for?
The elders do not have a number in mind, and are trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal who and how many new elders we will have.

Who are the current elders?
Click here to learn more about our current elders.