In the New Testament, the terms “pastor”, “elder”, “bishop”, and “overseer” are interchangeable. They all refer to an office in a local church through which God exercises His leadership and oversight over His people. The New Testament clearly lays out qualifications for elders (most directly in Titus 1:5-9 and I Timothy 3:1-7), with the overriding criteria being that they must be “above reproach.” The role, or the duties, of elders are also described (see Titus 1:9 and I Timothy 3:2). Their unique contributions (though not their only responsibilities) lie in teaching and preaching God’s Word and in leadership of a local church. Other helpful terms or word pictures for elders include “shepherds of God’s flock” (I Peter 5:1, 2) and “managers of God’s household” (Titus 1:7, I Timothy 3:4, 5). In fulfilling this role, elders do well to remember the words of Jesus to His apostles (the first church elders, you might say):
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)
Ryan Wassell, Pastor
Ryan holds a B.A. in Religious Studies, Westmont College (2007) and an M.Div., The Master’s Seminary (2012). His ministry experience includes just about everything from leading youth, teaching Bible studies, preaching, and maintaining church facilities. Throughout this time, however, there has been one constant, a conviction to preach and teach God’s word. Ryan has spent the past year and a half serving as the teaching pastor at Redeeming Grace.
Ryan and his wife, Jamie, have two daughters and a son. As a family they love camping out in their tent and enjoying s’mores (even if it’s just in the backyard), eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and playing countless games of “You’re it”! Together they are passionate about using their home as a means to display the gospel to others.
Tim Eakins, Pastor
Since the very start of his life, Tim has been incredibly blessed by God to have loved, prayed for, taught, and encouraged people who love God and live for His glory. This pattern has continued through his involvement with Redeeming Grace Church since 2014. He has grown in his walk with the Lord through his fellowship and service alongside his brothers and sisters in Christ.
He has served in various ways over the years including: preaching, teaching Sunday School, participating in evangelism, scripture memorization, leading growth groups and prayer meetings. Tim holds a B.S. in Engineering Physics from the Colorado School of Mines (2007). He works in the field of accident reconstruction and forensic engineering.
He spends the majority of his free time with his wife Leanna and their three beautiful daughters. They enjoy travel, hiking, camping, road trips, watching movies, and playing games of all kinds.