Elders & Deacons
Within the Church there is not a consensus on the issue of Pastor, Elders and Deacons. We believe that the Bible best illustrates a plurality of Elders. Although we will function with Elders this does not mean that we are discarding congregational involvement. We still value and believe that there are many issues that require congregational involvement and approval. The day to day functions and decisions of the church will be made by the Elders while larger issues will come before the congregation for approval.
Because of our belief in this area we will have two offices designated as “elder” and “deacon.” In each case, there is evidence that multiple Christians operated within the role. Within the plurality of elders, there are some church members especially recognized as the chief teachers; these men are commonly referred to as “pastors.” (Acts 14:23; Acts 15:2; Acts 20:17; Titus1: 5; James 1:1; James 5:14; I Peter 1:1; I Peter 5:1; Ephesians 4:11-12; I Timothy 3:1-13; Hebrews 13:7, 17)
Offices within a local congregation are not intended to reflect a hierarchical structure, but rather, these offices reflect specific functions and responsibilities. Always, Christ is the head of the church and, spiritually, all His disciples are on a level ground before Him. Each Christian enjoys direct access to our Lord and bears the responsibility to intercede and minister for the good of all as a member of a community of priests. Under Christ and His Word, the decisive court of appeal in the local church in deciding matters of disagreement is the gathered church assembly. So too, the local congregation is charged with the authority to call and dismiss its own leaders. (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:19-20; I Corinthians 2:12-13; I Corinthians 7:17; I Corinthians 14:37-38; II Thessalonians 3:14; I Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 1:25; Ephesians 4:11-12, 15; Matthew 23:8-11; I Timothy 2:5; Revelation 1:6; Galatians 6:1-2; Hebrews 3:13; I Timothy 5:7; I Peter 5:1-3; I Timothy 5:19-20; Matthew 18:15-17; I Corinthians 5:4-5)
Jesus Christ alone is the head of His church. However, as head, He has ordained that individual churches should be blessed with the spiritual rule and ministry of special office bearers. Therefore, it is the duty of the church to seek to discover those to whom Christ the Lord has imparted the necessary gifts for office bearing. The Lord's appointment is recognized by not only the inward conviction of the individual involved, but also by the approval of the church observing the possession of those gifts and graces required, and by Scriptural definition of the office.