Fathers of the Church


Our Elders:

Dan Temple - Chair, Reeves Cannon, Rob Colones, Ben Elder, Kirk Laing, Adam Richardson, Greg Stuckey, Larry Waring

Contact: elders@sandhurst.net

Who are elders?

Elders are the fathers of the church. They are one of two roles in the church described in the New Testament (the other is deacon). Elders can be old or young - Timothy was young and an elder. So regardless of age, they have lived long enough to have a proven track record of not just talking the faith but walking it. Elders are fathers tried and true, men faithful to the ancient faith in the modern world.

What do elders do?

Elders, as fathers in the church, do what fathers do. Peter says they are to shepherd the flock (I Peter 5:1-3). Literally “sheep-herd the sheep.” That means basically four things:

1) Lead the family – Fathers take ultimate responsibility for the welfare of the family by leading by example. In the church family that means they don’t just say serve – they say follow me as I serve.
2) Feed the family – Fathers feed not only bodies but hearts with encouragement and training. In the church family that means they teach and encourage – sometimes by word and sometimes by deed.
3) Protect the family – David protected his flock from the wolf and bear. Jesus said that while the hireling runs, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. In the church family that means they get involved in peoples’ lives – bringing reconciliation and healing. Like dads, they most often can be tender, but sometimes have to be tough – confronting error or sin.
4) Care for the family – When there is pain – fathers stand up and take the lead in healing. In the church family that means the elders work quietly behind the scenes among our people – to encourage, heal, strengthen, call forward and sometimes carry forward our people when they stumble. It’s not always loud or obvious – but it is always happening.

How do elders lead?

You have heard it said, Jesus said, that the rulers among the gentiles lord it over them. Let it not be so among you. Rather whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first must be your slave. Just as the son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. So the church, as designed by God, and as practiced here at Sandhurst, is ruled by Christ, is led by a group of faithful men, who lay down their lives to lead, feed, protect and care for the family of Christ. This is what elders do as fathers in the family of Christ at Sandhurst.

How long do elders serve?

Elders serve in seasons. This way, over time the leadership will turn over naturally, developing the gifts of new leaders and preventing burn out. When elders roll off the board, they don’t stop being elders. Fathers don’t stop being fathers when their children leave home! Rather – they become fathers in a different way. Likewise, elders who roll off the board remain elders in a different way. For example, in a group of doctors, some are on call, and some are not. When doctors rotate off call, they don’t stop being doctors – they just serve in a different way.

In Sum

Elders are fathers in the church, tried and true men faithful to the ancient faith in the modern world, who serve in seasons to lead, feed, protect and care for the family of Christ.

Lead Servants of the Church


Our Deacons:

Bryan Patterson - Chair, Charlie Sandifer - Co-chair, Jon Alexander, Kevin Almers, Dale Baker, Bill Bessenger, Fred Cannon, Gary Dauksch, Fulton Ervin, Jeremy Groom, Eddie Hutto, Tom Llaneza, Michael MacKillop, Jo Nell, Jody Padgett, Brian Parrot, Dave Pitsley, Camp Ross, Sammy Smith, Danny Taylor, Anthony Tellis

Contact: deacons@sandhurst.net

What are deacons?

They are one of two New Testament church offices (the other is elder). Deacons originated in the NT when the elders were distracted from prayer and Bible teaching by conducting the daily business of service and administration. The deacons were tapped to organize service and run logistics on behalf of the elders, in organizing and leading the family of Christ in service. Deacons are lead servants.

What do deacons do?

In general they lead service in several ways:

1) Organize projects – They figure out what needs to be done with the physical campus and building and oversee it’s maintenance and upkeep.

2) Equip the family – to serve in those projects.

3) Lead the family – in following the leadership of the elders and Christ.

How long do deacons serve?

In the past, we have asked people to serve this way indefinitely. Going forward, we will ask them to serve in seasons. This way, over time the leadership will turn over naturally, doing two things: a) accessing and developing the gifts of new leaders, and b) preventing burn out. Now we will ask them to serve in seasons.

In Sum

Deacons are the lead servants in the church,

Freeing the elders to pray and teach the Word,

Organizing projects of service and upkeep,

Leading the family of Christ in fulfilling them.

Further reading

Desiring God on deacons

9Marks on deacons