Posts Tagged elders

Get to Know the Elders: John Kronwald

Jesus said that loving him and loving people was what was most important, and John Kronwald is a great example for us in those areas. He has a consistent and steady walk with Jesus and a true gift of encouragement. I’m excited for how God continues to grow him and use him. Here’s a little more on John:

Where did you grow up?

I’m an Arizona native -born in Mesa, but grew up in Tempe & Chandler.

How did you meet your wife?

I first “met” my wife Lindsay when our families carpooled to preschool together; but it wasn’t until we went to high school together that I really began to take an interest in her. We have been best friends ever since.

Tell us about your family…

My wife Lindsay and I have 3 kids: Jack (will be 4-years old next month), Emma (2-1/2), and James (1). Oh, and another one on the way, due in February!

What are your 3 favorite books of all time? (don’t need to be Christian books)

Outside of the Bible, three books that have made an impact on me were: Desiring God by John Piper; The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer; and Humility by C.J. Mahaney

What do you like to do for fun? (hobbies, interests, etc)

I love to play basketball and golf; and any outdoor activity (camping, hiking, fishing). I should also probably add that I am a life-long, die-hard Suns fan.

What is one question you would like answered when you get to heaven?

I guess I’m curious as to why God chose to save some and not others (or find out why He chose to save any of us for that matter).

What areas or aspects of ministry are you particularly passionate about?

I love seeing evidences of God’s grace in other people’s lives; I get excited to see stagnant hearts stirred up, and dead hearts come alive; and I love to encourage and pray for people. That’s why I have such a passion for community groups. I have experienced all of these things within the community groups I’ve been a part of at Second Mile.

How has God been growing you recently?

He is giving me a greater thirst for Christ, and allowing me to see how satisfyingly beautiful He is. I’ve been praying through both Psalm 27 and 63 this week, which God is using to turn my eyes off of myself and on to Him.

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Get to Know the Elders: Eloy Garza

Like many of our other leaders, Eloy Garza is a man filled with a passion for life. He works hard as a adjutant to the Assistant Chief of Police in Mesa, he plays hard with his two sons, he pours himself into the lives of the Jr. High and High School students, and he joyfully dates his sweet wife, Keri. Here’s a little bit more to know about Eloy:

Where did you grow up?

I lived many places growing up (including Chicago and Houston) but I would call Corpus Christi, Texas (Home).

How did you meet your wife?

I meet Keri at youth group in 1988. We were introduced by a mutual friend.

Tell us about your family…

Keri and I have two sons, Malachi and Evan. They are high-energy and we have lots of fun together.

What are your 3 favorite books of all time?

Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis
Putting Amazing Back into Grace by Michael Horton
Warriors by Loren Christensen

What do you like to do for fun?

All sports, running, football, ultimate frisbee, and hanging with Keri and the boys.

What is one question you would like answered when you get to heaven?

Why me?

What areas or aspects of ministry are you particularly passionate about?

Student Ministry and Mentoring Youth (Leader Development)

How has God been growing you recently?

Wow! What area of my life is he not growing me in? I would say currently God is growing me in patience in understanding his reason/purpose in the role He has given me at work and having patience with others. Additionally, God is growing me in begin more loving and sacrificial to others.

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Get to Know the Elders: Tim Campbell

When I think of Tim Campbell, I think of the words “solid” and “steady.” Not only is he built like a truck and a captain with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, but he’s a man that consistently walks with Jesus and serves him. Along the way in our journey of starting Second Mile, Tim has consistently been a guy that keeps the main thing the main thing. He doesn’t get distracted by what’s flashy or new or cool — but he gets pretty pumped up about Biblical ideas that are true and right and enduring. Here’s a little bit more to know about Tim:

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the military and lived everywhere from Texas to Panama to North Dakota to Okinawa. Arizona was our favorite place, so that’s where we stayed.

How did you meet your wife?

Barbara and I met at a singles group at Bethany Community Church in Tempe–specifically a “singles retreat” in Cornville.

Tell us about your family…

We are currently empty-nesters. We have two grown daughters who are both married and we have four grandchildren.

What are your 3 favorite books of all time?

That’s impossible to answer. Shogun by James Clavelle is probably my favorite novel. James Boice’s Commentary on the Psalms opened them up in a way I never could have appreciated on my own. The more I’m exposed to C.J. Mahaney the more I appreciate the heart of the man. I recently read his book titled Humility, which I highly recommend to everyone. I just wish you could read it once and then be humble.

What do you like to do for fun?

We do a lot of traveling. I generally plan several vacations in a row. Barb and I cook a lot together. I read a great deal and I try to work out faithfully at home.

What is one question you would like answered when you get to heaven?

I want to sit down and watch heaven’s 4D Imax version of the history of the world from the first moment of creation to the triumphal return. I’m not sure what 4D Imax is, but it’s got to be cooler than anything I can think or dream, right?

What areas or aspects of ministry are you particularly passionate about?

Missions and the overall health and vitality of the church.

How has God been growing you recently?

My tongue is getting painfully sore as I learn to bite it more and more.

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Get to Know the Elders: Geoffrey Wilcoxson

Stand aside Dos Equis guy…Geoffrey Wilcoxson is truly the most interesting man in the world. He’s been a marine, a chef, an internet marketing guru (his current job), an ASU football photographer, a college lacrosse player, and a house-music DJ. In addition to all that, he’s a great husband and father and a passionate follower of Jesus. He loves people and is filled with a contagious zeal for life. Get to know him (just a little) more here:

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Denver, Colorado. I lived in Hendersonville, North Carolina as a child yet spent most of my time here in Arizona.

How did you meet your wife?

Darcy and I met at Northern Arizona University while we were both attending college. Darcy was a roommate with a girl I knew from Bethany Community Church’s college group.

Tell us about your family…

Darcy and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary this year. We have 4 kids; Sean (12), Jakob (10), Kyra (8), and Ryan(6). We love to travel, camping and movies.

What are your 3 favorite books of all time?

Reason for God by Tim Keller
Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
You Can Change by Tim Chester

What do you like to do for fun?

Some type of creative outlet; music, computer art, search engine optimization – college football – cooking.

What is one question you would like answered when you get to heaven?

I am torn — When did the dinosaurs live? OR Who wrote the book of Hebrews?

What areas or aspects of ministry are you particularly passionate about?

I love people so I most excited about ministries such as discipleship, counseling and community groups.

How has God been growing you recently?

I marvel at the correlation between a growing knowledge of the Gospel and obedience. I love that change in my own heart is accomplished with Gospel.

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Get to Know the Elders: Matthew Braselton

Over the next few days, we’re going to be featuring interaction with the men who we are in the process of approving as elders of Second Mile Church. We’ve asked them all the same questions and you’ll get to hear their answers. These are good men that you’ll enjoy learning about…stay tuned.

Today, we begin with…

Matthew Braselton — “the world’s biggest 7-year old” as I like to call him — is a loyal friend, a kind-hearted pastor and a tremendously gifted worship leader. Many of you experience part of his ministry every Sunday from the stage (which often includes some of the songs written by his wife Kristie). Here’s an opportunity to get to know him even better:

Where did you grow up?

Tempe, AZ

How did you meet your wife?

I met Kristie when I was serving in the high school ministry band at Grace Community Church in Tempe.

Tell us about your family…

4 wonderful kids – Bethany (2004), Harper (2005), Benjamin (2007), Judah (2010)

What are your 3 favorite books of all time?

The Pursuit of God (Tozer),
Desiring God (Piper),
The Pursuit of Holiness (Bridges)

What do you like to do for fun?

Road / Mountain biking

What is one question you would like answered when you get to heaven?

Why did you save me?

What areas or aspects of ministry are you particularly passionate about?

Corporate praise. People maturing and using their gifts to serve the body

How has God been growing you recently?

I’ve been learning patience and endurance via parenting. I’ve also been learning that i need to truly TRUST God in every situation. He proves Himself faithful time and again…

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More on Eldership

Yesterday was a good day for our church family talking about humility, both in leadership and in followership. I mentioned that a paper with more details would be available regarding some of the specifics of our elder team process and expectations, so here it is.

If you missed it, the men we introduced for the approval phase of the elder process are Tim Campbell, Geoffrey Wilcoxson, Eloy Garza, and John Kronwald (in addition to myself and Matthew Braselton as existing elders). We will have a month for the congregation to notify us of any biblical reasons why any of these men should not serve as elders, and then they will be installed formally on September 12.

If you are interested in other resources related to church leadership and church government, here are a few books that I have found helpful:

Also, I’ve posted some answers to common questions that we’ve heard below. If you have others, please ask through the comments section, and I’ll be sure to reply.

Are there a particular number of elders that a church should have?
The Bible teaches that a local church should have a plurality of elders, but does not give a specific number. Each church must use wisdom in determining how many elders are necessary to effectively lead the church. There is no specific number that the elder team aspires to have. Finally, it is important to remember that, in addition to the elders, Community Group and Ministry Team leaders play a significant role in the shepherding of the body.

Is it Biblical for staff pastors to serve on the elder board?
The Bible neither prohibits nor mandates that paid pastors serve as governing elders in a local church. The Bible does allow financial support for those serving as elders (1 Timothy 5:17-18; 1 Corinthians 9:11). Second Mile has both staff and non-staff elders. While the concept of staff pastors serving as elders is unfamiliar to some, it is not prohibited by Scripture.

What are the age requirements for being an elder?
The New Testament does not directly address the age issue, even in the list of qualifications. Since the term “elder” (presbuteros) is sometimes translated “older” (1 Timothy 5:1; Titus 2:2), some conclude that the very title “elder” implies that only “an older man” should be appointed to this position. However, we cannot derive the same guideline from the meaning of the word “overseer” (episkopos), which was used interchangeably with the title “elder.” It does seem generally wise to appoint spiritual leaders who have learned from years of experience, making them wise and discerning. On the other hand, “age alone” does not guarantee maturity. Neither does it mean that younger men cannot occupy strategic leadership positions. A wonderful biblical example is Timothy, who was approximately twenty years of age when Paul selected him to accompany him on his second missionary journey. In most cultures, this is considered very young, especially in the Greco-Roman world. In fact, Timothy was still considered young in his early thirties when Paul left him in Ephesus to select and appoint elders. This is why Paul instructed him, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Timothy demonstrated that it is possible to be a mature leader at a very early age.

How are the elders held accountable?
The elders are accountable first to God and his word and then to one another. They pray with and for each other, share their burdens with one another, and strive to model healthy, Christ-centered relationships with one another.

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