Category Archives: Elder Expression

Nine Marks of a Mature Christian

How do you quantify spiritual maturity? What does a healthy Christian look like? These are the questions the EBC elders have been exploring for the last few months.

The desire of your elders is the same as the Apostle Paul’s–that EBC would “attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). The longing of your elders is that each and every one of you would be unified in the faith, mature in Christ, and healthy in your Christian walk.

And so the elders have scoured the Scriptures and drawn out nine marks of a healthy Christian. These are the marks we pray would be developed in each of your lives. These are the characteristics we are committed to instilling in you. This is the grid through which our decisions for your spiritual health be made–from the resources recommended, to the classes offered, to the music sung, to the Word preached.

In the coming months, we will expand on each of these marks of maturity, but know from the start that our commitment to you is to disciple, teach, and provide that which will grow you into a “mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

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A Note from the Elders…

The Elder Expression feature has been absent from The Emmanuel Expression church newsletter for many months now, but I hope to reinstate it beginning with this issue.  And it seems fitting to kick it off anew by welcoming our new Pastor/Teacher Patrick Slyman.

Pastor Patrick Slyman and his family (wife Sarah and daughters Lexi (age 10) and Maddox (age 8)) arrived in Skagit County on August 20th.  Patrick will join the staff on September 1st and is schedule to preach on September 7th.

Patrick holds a Doctor of Ministry degree, specializing in Expository Preaching, from The Master’s Seminary.  He was ordained in the year 2000.  His experience includes serving as an associate pastor at a church in southern California for 2 years and serving as Lead Pastor for a small church in Rockport, Massachusetts for 8 years.  He has also mentored Master of Divinity students in preaching.

Patrick’s role at Emmanuel will be as our primary preacher, but there will be times that other pastors will take the pulpit for a spell.  During these times Patrick will probably teach an Equipping Class.  He especially loves the two-way communication you can have in a teaching environment and the opportunity it provides to become better acquainted with members of our congregation.

Patrick’s title of Pastor/Teacher was carefully chosen to reflect the nature of his role.  He will not be the “Senior Pastor” or “Lead Pastor”.  Our church will be led by a team of pastors and elders and in concert with subordinate leaders of various ministries.  We believe this is a biblical model and avoids many of the pitfalls of personal agendas and idolizing an individual leader.  It also promotes personal accountability among the leaders.

Many of you have expressed your excitement about a new beginning at Emmanuel.  The elders and staff certainly have a sense of great expectation about what God will do through the man He sent to us.  Many of us on staff and on the Board of Elders feel reinvigorated for ministry.

God seems to be preparing us for new and greater things in other ways also.  For example, our finances are gradually improving.  We have consistently been running modest surpluses this year, which has provided the funds we needed to hire Pastor Patrick.  Hopefully, this trend will continue and we will soon be able to hire a new Worship Director also.

We are also looking forward expectantly to the Getty concert that is tentatively schedule for the last week of March 2015 or first week of April 2015.  It promises to be a wonderful evening of praise to our great King and Savior and sweet fellowship with other believers, many from other churches.  We will keep you informed as plans firm up.

Meanwhile, take advantage of opportunities to get to know the Slyman family and make them feel truly welcome.