We believe that a healthy Presbytery gives proper attention to governance, relationships and mission. Each is the focus of careful planning by our Presbytery leaders and none are to be neglected when the Presbytery meets. Our Presbytery seeks to do well in all three.
We assume governance duties as outlined in the Book of Government of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The examination and care of teaching elders is a particular concern of our Presbytery. We seek gracious, respectful treatment of every candidate and minister and are committed to healthy theological discussion and the spiritual formation of our ministers. The spiritual well-being of our congregations is also a major concern and we will collectively seek to encourage and support education, stewardship, evangelism, officer training and Christian formation of all members.
We know that if relationships are to grow deep within our Presbytery, time and effort must be expended to know each other, pray together and find ways to support each other. Fellowship cannot take a back seat to business when our Presbytery meets. We also cultivate clusters or networks of churches within our Presbytery to foster closer fellowship and shared ministry.
We seek to become a missional Presbytery. This means we want to stimulate and help our congregations and elders become directly engaged in outreach and ministry to our communities and around the world. Another important means of expressing our missional identity is through the planting and multiplication of churches and so we welcome skilled pastors able to plant healthy, long-lived churches.
We realize that we live in a post-Christian world where we need the wisdom and challenge from each other to be more effective in communicating the Gospel to unchurched people. The Great Commission is the highest priority of our Presbytery.
—Adapted from Preamble to By-laws for Rivers and Lakes Presbytery January 2011