The leadership of Valley Springs consists of a body of Teaching and Ruling Elders called the Session and a body of Deacons and Diaconal Ministers called the Diaconate.
Ruling Elders and Deacons are elected by the congregation for a three-year term of active service and may serve multiple successive terms. The ordination of Ruling Elders and Deacons is considered to be a lifetime office. A season of nominations and elections is observed annually.
"When a man is called to labor as a Teaching Elder, it belongs to his order, in addition to those functions he shares with all other Elders, to feed the flock by reading, expounding and preaching the Word of God and to administer the Sacraments." (BCO 8-5)
“It belongs to the office of Elder, both severally and jointly, to watch diligently over the flock committed to his charge that no corruption of doctrine or of morals enters therein. They must exercise government and discipline, and take oversight not only of the spiritual interests of the particular church, but also the Church generally when called thereunto. They should visit people at their homes, especially the sick. They should instruct the ignorant, comfort the mourner, nourish and guard the children of the Church. They should set a worthy example to the flock entrusted to their care by their zeal to evangelize the unconverted and make disciples. All those duties which private Christians are bound to discharge by the law of love are especially incumbent upon them by divine vocation, and are to be discharged as official duties. They should pray with and for the people, being careful and diligent in seeking the fruit of the preached Word among the flock.” (BCO 8-3)
“The office [of Deacon] is one of sympathy and service, after the example of the Lord Jesus; it expresses also the communion of the saints, especially in their helping one another in time of need. . . . It is the duty of the Deacons to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress. It is their duty also to develop the grace of liberality in the members of the church, to devise effective methods of collecting the gifts of the people, and to distribute these gifts among the objects to which they are contributed. They shall have the care of the property of the congregation, both real and personal, and shall keep in proper repair the church edifice and other buildings belonging to the congregation. . . . In the discharge of their duties the Deacons are under the supervision and authority of the Session.” (BCO 9-1; 9-2)
Under the supervision of the Board of Deacons, these Diaconal Ministers contribute gifts, talents, professional expertise and practical service in the area of our church identity statement, “serving our world together”. These men and women function in positions of leadership and are recognized as Diaconal Ministers so that our ministries can advance with increased collaboration, unity, and coordination.