Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons… (Philippians 1:1)
The Scriptures teach that Christ instituted the church and the government of the church. The church is to be served and led by elected and ordained officers. Elders are servant leaders who rule and shepherd the flock, and deacons are servant leaders who oversee the giving and distributing of gifts, the mercy needs of the church, and the facility.
The Bible gives specific duties of the elders:
- Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve. (1Peter 5:2)
- Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless — not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:7-9)
- We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift … is leadership, let him govern diligently.
- Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! (Acts 20:28-31) (Romans 12:6,8)
The qualification for elders are found in the New Testament books of 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The elders of the church have three basic areas of ministry. First, to keep the purity of the faith in the church, teaching what is according to sound doctrine and contending for the faith. Secondly, shepherding God’s flock, inquiring into people’s spiritual needs and encouraging their growth through the ministry of the Word, prayer, and the sacraments. Thirdly, to provide planning and direction for the church according to biblical principles.The Session is the group of elders elected by the people to serve for a three-year term.
Most elders oversee an area of ministry in our church. Some of them take part in teaching Sunday School or leading a small group. All of them are assigned shepherding groups. A shepherding group is a group of about 10-12 family units who are members or regular attenders of Carriage Lane. The elder attempts to maintain contact with each member of his shepherding group at least four times a year. He seeks to be available to them for prayer, counsel, and spiritual support.
Our Session typically meets once a month on the fourth Tuesday at 6:00 pm.
Please pray for our elders as they seek to perform their god-given calling. Pray for their spiritual growth and protection. Pray for their wives and families. Pray that they would be given continued wisdom in leading and shepherding the flock at Carriage Lane.
Let’s take heed of the admonition of Hebrews 13:17: “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.
We will turn this responsibility over to them. (Acts 6:3)
The first deacons were elected by the congregation in Jerusalem to relieve the burden from the elders in serving the church. The first recorded martyr of the church was Stephen, a deacon. The qualifications for deacon given in the New Testament book of 1Timothy 3 are very similar to that of elder. Deacons are mentioned alongside of elders in the salutation of the book of Philippians. They are to be men filled with the Spirit and wisdom, servants of Christ. Jesus was called the Greek name diakonoswhich means deacon.
Our Diaconate typically meets once a month on the third Sunday at 12:45 pm.
Pray for our deacons and give them support through prayer and offering your time and talents. If you would like to help our deacons in the area of mercy ministry, benevolence, finance, or property, please contact us.