Church Government

In the New Testament we find four titles used for the officers of the local church: Elder, Overseer, Pastor, and Deacon. The first three terms are used interchangeably to refer to the same office. Elders (Pastors), then, were appointed to oversee and shepherd the overall direction of a local church. Deacons, on the other hand, were appointed for the efficient functioning of the local church. Since there are only two lists of qualifications for church leadership in Scripture, it would seem that only two offices were intended. Also, Scriptural references to church leadership within a local church are always plural, indicating a group of Elders and Deacons. Except for our Lord Jesus, who is called "the Chief Shepherd," no single person in Scripture is referred to as "THE Pastor." Therefore, Crossway does not have a Senior Pastor other than Jesus, but a board of Elders who pastor the church.

Our Elders, then, are our Pastors. Deacons are those who help the Elders meet the needs of the church. Decision making on the Elder board is done only when all the Elders are in agreement regarding a particular issue. Each Elder has the same amount of authority as any of the others. However, this is not to say that each has the same role or specific ministry to fulfill. Depending on their spiritual giftedness and availability, our Elders will vary in their time commitment or public ministry.  

Qualifications for an Elder are given in 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; and, 1 Peter 5:1-3. Persons may be considered for leadership when they have demonstrated by their life and witness those qualifications and agreement with the doctrine and philosophy of Crossway.

To meet our Elders (or Pastors), click here.