Elder Led-Deacon Served-Congregational Affirmed
The church has a body of elders/pastors who teach and shepherd the flock. In accordance with Hebrews 13:17, they keep watch over the congregation as men who must give an account to God.
According to the same text, the congregation is to obey them and submit to their authority so that their work will be a joy and not a burden. The elders must meet the qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7, and they exercise authority over the church only to the degree that they teach and lead according to the Scriptures.
According to the teachings of Jesus, the life of every Christian is to be marked by service (Mark 9:35). However, the New Testament also speaks of the specific office of deacon.
The word deacon (gk: diakonos) denotes a helper or servant who serves (gk: diakoneo). Before a man may be appointed as a deacon, he must be tested for the qualifications found in I Timothy 3:8-13.
The tasks of a deacon are primarily that of meeting the physical and material needs of individual believers and the congregation as a whole. If the deacon serves faithfully, he obtains for himself a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus (I Timothy 3:13).
The duly appointed elders/pastors use patience and wisdom in decision making for unity’s sake.
Affirmation from the congregation is sought as God’s confirmation on the matter. (Matthew 18:15-17, Acts 6:2-5, I Corinthians 5:4-5, II Corinthians 2:6).