Two Church Offices
When the need arises for additional Elders, a nominee will be recommended by the existing Board of Elders. In keeping with the clear biblical injunctions regarding authority structures within the church only men will be considered for the office of Elder. An in-depth interview will ensue to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified. The congregation will then be reminded of the biblical requirement for Elders and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration. Should there be a disagreement on whether the nominee is to have their name withdrawn or not, the Elder Board will review the matter and make a decision, which will be considered final.
Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for Elders, no specific fixed term of office is recommended. An individual’s service as an Elder may be discontinued by his own decision or by a decision of the other Elders. A person leaving the Board of Elders would not preclude his service as a future Elder, subject to the regular selection process.
The Scriptures are clear that the Elder’s responsibility is the spiritual oversight of the congregation. The Elder’s responsibility can be broken down into the following main areas:
- Ensuring that the doctrine of the church remains purely biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders.
- Teaching the Scriptures/doctrine for instruction, exhortation, reproof, correction and training (1 Tim 3:2, 5:17; Titus 1:19; 2 Tim 3:16)
- Ensuring that the direction of the church remains consistent with our statement of purpose.
- Administering in love and humility the biblical process of church discipline as outlined in (Matthew 18:15-20) and (Galatians 6:1-4).
All decisions affecting the overall doctrine, direction, and discipline of the church will be the responsibility of the Board of Elders.
The positions required on the Elder Board are Chair, President and Secretary. An Elder may assume one or more of these positions. These positions are selected by the Elder Board with no fixed term. The position of Chair is not to be a Pastoral Elder. The total number of Elders is determined by the Elder Board. Agenda items for the Elder meetings must be submitted to the Elder Board Chairman prior to the Elders’ meeting. An Elders’ meeting may not be held without a majority of the Elders present and the entirety of the Elders informed.
Qualifications (Titus 1:6-9)
- Above reproach
- Able to teach
- Husband to one wife
- Not addicted to wine
- Not antagonistic
- Free from the love of money
- Manage own household
- Not a new convert
All members of the Pastoral Staff will be chosen by the Board of Elders.
There is no definite period for Pastoral Staff members. The Senior Pastor is responsible and accountable in the performance of his duties to the Board of Elders.
The responsibility of the Senior Pastor will be to faithfully preach God’s Word and model the priority of discipleship within the church. He will give oversight and direction to all ministry staff and work with the Board of Elders in carrying out the overall vision of Harvest Church.
The qualifications are equivalent to the biblical qualifications of an Elder.
Additional Pastoral Staff
Ministry descriptions for the remaining Pastoral Staff will be established by the Board of Elders.
The office of Deacon is one that exists biblically to give leadership to the serving functions of the church (Acts 6). The qualifications for Deacons are the same as Elder in the area of character, but different in aptitude. The Elders are to be “apt to teach” while the Deacons are to be “able and proved as servants”.
When the need arises for additional Deacons, a nominee will be recommended by the existing Board of Elders. Following an independent interview to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified, the congregation will be reminded of the biblical requirements for Deacons and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration. Should there be a disagreement on whether the nominee is to have their name withdrawn or not, the Elder Board will review the matter and make a decision, which will be considered final. An individual’s service as a Deacon may be discontinued by his own decision or by a decision of the Elders Board. A Deacon leaving their position would not preclude his service as a future Deacon, subject to the regular selection process.
Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for Deacons, no specific term of office is recommended.
Deacons will have responsibilities as established by the Elder Board such as Missions, Benevolence, Facilities, Care, Connections, Welcome, etc.
The Board of Elders may establish a Board of Deacons if they feel it is appropriate to do so.
Qualifications (I Timothy 3:8-12)
- Individual of dignity
- Above reproach
- Not double tongued
- First tested as servants
- Not addicted to wine
- Spouses must be faithful
- Dignified Temperate
- Not fond of sordid gain
- Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
- Husband of one wife
- Manages household well