Dear CPC Family,
Below there is a lot of information, but only because the topic is so important in the life of our church.  The elders will be accepting nominations from the congregation for new elders and deacons (together called “church officers”). It is the right of the congregation to nominate and elect its officers, and it’s one of our most impactful decisions.

This letter cannot say everything about elders and deacons, but will attempt to prepare you to make effective nominations. If you have further questions, please ask one of our deacons, elders, or pastors.

Jesus has been extraordinarily kind to Clemson Presbyterian, and we long to increasingly be an effective tool in his hands for his glory and the good of this place at this time. Thank you for reading this through. As I said, this is an important time in the life of our church. Join me in praying that CPC would have a culture that loves God’s truth, reflects his grace and acceptance, and cares for the lost by giving us leaders who are being transformed by God’s truth and grace, and want to share it with others.

In Christ,
Bryan Counts

Who can nominate?

Any communicant member of CPC may submit nominations to our Session. A communicant member is someone who has affirmed our membership vows and been received into the membership of the church by our elders.

Who should be nominated?

Any active, male member of our congregation may be nominated who has the right character, competencies, and understands our context.

The classic passages about the character of elders and deacons are 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. Please read them before you nominate someone.
What’s interesting about the qualifications listed in those passages is most of them should describe everyone who follows Jesus. The functions or duties of the offices are barely mentioned. It’s not that competency doesn’t matter, but that character matters most.
All of our officers, including me, will tell you they fail. Don’t think of those character qualifications as a checklist, but rather as a portrait of the men we need. Someone has said those lists are more like a Monet than a photograph, much like Proverbs 31 is not a checklist but an idealized portrait of a godly woman.
An officer is first and foremost a mature follower of Christ, whose example you would want to follow. They should embody Christ to our church, as well as to those in our broader community (2 Corinthians 2:15-17). This doesn’t mean that officers do not struggle with sin. It means they consistently live in the light of who Jesus is, what He has done for us, and who we are as a result. Officers should be actively engaged in the ongoing process of repentance and transformation by the grace of Christ.
In addition, nominate men of humility who want to serve in whatever way the Lord and his church call, not those who see the office as a status symbol, a right, or a token of their worth. In our Book of Church Order (BCO), the congregation and Session have to agree that a man is ready. We need men who want to serve, but also who want to know that others see them as gifted and ready for the roles.

For elders, we need men who can teach, shepherd, and govern. Look for men who can explain the things of the faith, who shepherd well in some way (family, small group, ministry team, etc.), and who make wise decisions. I stress to our current elders that they don’t have to be superstars in all three areas. Most likely, they will be one of three in which they excel and are competent in the others. See the attached role description for elders in our church. Click here for the role description for elders in our church.
For deacons, we need men with a heart to meet the needs of the least and lost around us. We need men who have an eye for practical needs around them, both in and out of the church, and those who bring others along to serve in these critical areas. The deacons are currently working on a one-page role description, similar to the attached elder role description.
Lastly, we need men who are available to complete our yearlong training and apprenticeship. That means Wednesday nights for training, related homework, and availability to attend monthly elder and deacon meetings on the third Monday of each month.

Understanding our context is critical when considering a candidate. Some men of character and competence may not agree with the values and mission set by current leadership. We don’t want “yes men,” but team players who can point out areas for growth while being excited about our direction and our values.

what's the nomination process?

  • October 25: Informational meeting for those nominated
  • November 2023 - August 2024: Training and Apprenticeship. Training will cover theology, philosophy of ministry, practical ministry skills, BCO, etc. There will also be a relational small group component. It will conclude with exams as required by the BCO. Apprenticeship will include attendance at some elder and deacon meetings, as well as serving alongside current officers.
  • September 2024: Names for election announced to congregation
  • October 2024: Election, Ordination, and Installation


Nominations are now open through October 8, 2023.

how do you nominate someone?

  1. Pray. After reading this document, prayerfully reflect on who Christ may be calling to serve as an officer at CPC.
  2. Speak with the potential nominee. Men must agree to have their names submitted before you fill out the form.
  3. Nominate. Click the link below to nominate someone. If you prefer paper copies, you can pick them up and return them at the info booth in the Worship Center lobby.