Biblical Church Government-What Is Your View?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gregory Perry Sr., Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,993
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi everybody...This is one of two similar threads that I am posting both here and in the "Other Christian Denominations" Forums. What I'd like to see is a discussion of what you believe about the topic of (Biblical) church "government" or leadership such as (for example) Pastor/Bishop/Deacon, Elder/pastor, congregational,etc. What do you believe is the Biblical form of church leadership/government?Also...what is the type and scope of any Biblical authority that they bear or can exercize over the assembly? Most importantly, what is the Biblical justification (chapter and verse) for what you believe as opposed to something that is just done by tradition? This topic has been touched on lately in several other threads so lets discuss it here in depth. One other thing...as I did in the other thread, please include your denominational affiliation (SBC,Regular,IFB,Reformed,Free Will, etc.) if possible just for the sake of comparison. Thanks and God Bless All.

    Bro.Greg Perry Sr.
     
    #1 Gregory Perry Sr., Jan 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2013
  2. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    i see the bible supporting Elders as the spiritual leadership in the local church, with pastor as the senior Elder..

    Deacons

    Congregational voting for things such as proposals by Elders on budgets, staff, fiannces etc!
     
  3. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,581
    Likes Received:
    26
    I know of one church i use to go to, the government is the pastor. The pastors wife is the treasure. There are no deacons, no elders. When the church was in the process of being built the pastor and a few men went to the bank to get a loan. The bank president told them in order to get a loan the church would have to put down on paper some by-laws of the church and name some deacons. In order to get the loan the men complied but in reality nothing changed. There are no pastor elections and no business meetings. Some of the churches that are affiliated with this church practice the same thing. Some go by the name baptist and some don't. As an example of the preachers authority, one Sunday the pastor was not there. He was on another preaching engagement and one of this churches other preacher took his place. The song leader at that time suggested to the church that some of the ladies if they were willing make biscuts and he would supply the gravy for a member of the church that had gotten old and stayed in the rest home. No one made a sound, the pastors wife was there and she didn't let her shirt tail hit her fanny till she reported all to her husband. When the pastor came back he put his finger in the song leaders face where all could witness and said, we don't make suggestion at this church without first consulting the pastor. I said all that to say this, one man over a church becomes a dictator and will lord it over Gods heritage.
     
  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    Knew of a church that practiced "revolving" teachers/pastors/Elders, for it was "whoever' had the revelation from the Lord for that day, as all were seen as being equally able to deliver the message!
     
  5. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    So where do you find Biblical support for a "senior Elder"???

    Me... my view is in my siggie. See below.
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    From the view of there being "first among Equals", as Jesus saw John, James, peter as such among the 12 it seems!
     
  7. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is evidence for plurality of elders:

    (5) The consistent pattern in the NT is that every church had several elders.

    Note the following texts (where either elder or bishop is used):

    Acts 11:30--elders at the church of Antioch
    Acts 14:23--Paul and Barnabas appoint "elders in every church"
    Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4--elders at the church in Jerusalem
    Acts 20:17, 28--elders/bishops at the church of Ephesus (v. 17--"elders of the church")
    Acts 21:18--elders at the church in Jerusalem
    Phil 1:1--the church at Philippi has bishops and deacons
    1 Tim 5:17--elders at the church of Ephesus
    Titus 1:5--Titus is to appoint elders in every town7
    Jas 5:14--"the elders of the church"
    1 Pet 5:1-2--"the elders among you"

    ***This said, I believe if a pastor moves into a new position in which he is the sole pastor...there is no reason to quickly appoint other elders who might not be qualified or even understand their role. Taking the time to teach and train elders would be much better.


    That said, I do think the plurality of elders functions within a congregationalism...

    (from: http://sbcvoices.com/what-is-congregationalism-biblically-speaking-2/ )

    As to which group (Elders or congregation) have the final say...I would tend to think that a congregation should have the ability to remove unfaithful Elders, since it is they who appointed them...BUT If the elders are plural, and functioning well, they can hold each other accountable and remove any offending elder themselves. I would not have a problem serving in either type of church. Legally, it would depend on the church charter/constitution/bylaws as to which group could legally kick out the other group, or claim ownership of the building.

    I do think local church autonomy is biblical...

    And...I think that a sole pastor who has complete authority without being able to be removed by some congregation or elder board is unbiblical and dangerous.
     
  8. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    The church where I serve is a large church and we utilize a form of pastoral elders to support its governance who are confirmed by the congregation every year. Our pastoral leadership is supplemented by a select group of lay leaders who are part of several ministry teams (these used to be called committees but we can't do that anymore ;)) who are also nominated and confirmed by the congregation.

    Our church started off as a democratic congregational church where the members voted on just about everything. As the church grew this kind of polity became untenable for a growing church. Soon the decision was made to remain in a congregational-esque though with day-to-day operational matters being handled primarily by the pastoral staff and leadership. We do ask the congregation to affirm our leadership and validate us in vote every year. As we operate we still have a yearly business meeting, a yearly budget meeting, and remain completely transparent as it relates to finances and staffing.

    Any member who desires to ask a question about anything can do so at any time. We believe, and have proof, that the more open you are the better trust is developed. This fosters a healthy church.

    The function of our pastoral leadership team begins with the senior pastor and then to the executive leadership team and then to the director/programming level staff, and then the support staff. Our entire staff team is about 60 people.

    Finally, our church council is made up of our senior leadership team with the leaders from each of our lay ministry teams.

    Our deacons function not as a decision making body, though we do ask them for guidance and advice on certain matters, but as a servant ministry team. This is a good set up for us.

    We are pretty convinced that the roles described in Ephesians 4 still continue today for the local church, though the office of apostle has clearly ended. The other requirements of 1 Timothy and Titus are important for us as well. I see multiple forms of church polity in the NT with no single style being prescribed over the others. Hope this helps. :)
     

Share This Page

Loading...