The Church

The Nature of The Church

The church is the community of all true believers for all time. The church is made up of those who are truly saved. Both believers in the New Testament age and Old Testament age as well. The Church is Invisible, yet visible (2 Tim. 2:19). The invisible church is the church as God sees it.

The Church is Local and Universal

In the New Testament the word “church” may be applied to a group of believers at any level, ranging from a very small group meeting in a private home all the way to the group of all true believers in the universal church.

Church Government

Plural local elders is a kind of church government that preserves the pattern of plural elders found in the New Testament and that avoids the expansion of elder’s authority beyond the local congregation. The elders govern the church and have authority to rule over it (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17). There is always more than one elder.

In this system the pastor(s) is one among the elders. He does not have authority over them, nor does he work for them as an employee. He has a somewhat distinct role in that he is engaged in the full-time work of “preaching and teaching” (1Tim. 5:17). The pastor would have considerable authority to make decisions and provide leadership in many areas of responsibility that have been delegated to him by the elder board as a whole.