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Biblical Leadership

Elders Lead

We are led by a plurality of godly, qualified men called elders.

The focal point of local church leadership is the office of elder (Philippians 1:2). The common pattern of Scripture is for each local church to be ruled by a plurality of these Spirit enabled men (Titus 1:5; James 5:14).

The Bible uses three interchangeable words to refer to the men who serve in this capacity: elder, overseer and pastor (Acts 20; 1 Peter 5:1-2). The different terms indicate ministerial function rather than differing levels of authority.

Whilst each member of a local church is to participate fully in the life of the church we recognise that God gifts His Church with elders who serve by managing and caretaking (1 Timothy 3:5), overseeing (Acts 20:28), ordaining (1 Timothy 4:4), ruling, teaching and preaching (1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 3:2), exhorting, refuting (Titus 1:9), determining church policy (Acts 15:22) and acting as shepherds by setting an example for all to follow (1 Pet. 5:1-3).

Elders are to be biblically qualified (1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-8) men who are above reproach. This blamelessness must extend to his marital, social, business and spiritual life. In this way, he is to both pursue and exemplify truth and godliness.

Deacons Serve

We are served by godly, qualified men and woman called deacons.

Jesus Christ exemplified servant leadership (Mark 10:45). All Christians are called to a life of humble service (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Some believers are specifically gifted to serve (Romans 12:7). Deacons are recognised into the office of servant in a local church (Philippians 1:1-2).

Those who would serve as deacons are to live dignified lives (1 Timothy 3:8), be spiritually mature (1 Timothy 3:9-10) and have stable families (1 Timothy 3:11-12).

Both men and woman may be recognised as deacons (1 Timothy 3:11). In the text the word translated ‘likewise’ juxtapositions the offices of elders, male deacons and female deacons (1 Timothy 3:1, 8, 11). The word translated wives (KJV and NIV), given the context, should more appropriately be translated woman (NASB).

Little is prescribed regarding the function of deacons in Scripture. As such there is much freedom given to the local church regarding how deacons ought to operate. At Crystal Park Baptist Church deacons function at the behest of the congregation for a fix term of service to God’s glory.

Staff

We are served by fulltime and parttime staff.

Pastoral Staff

The church may call a pastoral staff member. He shall be an elder and perform the duties of an elder described in Section 15. He shall preach on the Lord’s Day, be responsible for the administration of the ordinances of baptism and communion, and perform such other duties as usually pertain to the function, as set forth in the constitution or delegated by the elders. He shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching. He shall be responsible for the supervision and evaluation of staff members. In his absence or incapacity the elders shall assume responsibility for his duties, any of which can be delegated.

Pastoral Assistants

The elders may appoint pastoral assistants whose relationship to the pastoral staff is that of assistant. A pastoral assistant may be recognized as an elder should he be nominated by the elders and elected by the congregation, in accordance with Section 15. The elders shall define the responsibilities of pastoral assistants, the primary activity being the gaining of practical experience for the equipping to future pastoral ministry. They shall serve at the will of the elders for an initial term up to five years, though that term may be extended with the approval of the elders.

Staff Interns

The elders may appoint staff interns whose relationship to the pastoral staff is that of intern. A staff intern may not be recognized as an elder. The elders shall define the responsibilities of staff interns, the primary activity being continued theological study and the gaining of practical experience for the equipping to future pastoral ministry. They shall serve at the will of the elders for an initial term of one year, though that term may be extended with the approval of the elders.