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    Church Government

    Home · About · What We Believe · Church Government Harvest is committed to the Bible's teaching that men who hold the offices of Elder and Deacon are to oversee various functions of the local church.

    The Bible's teaching on the subject of two church offices is found in 1 Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9. Although there are three terms used for the offices of the church: bishop, elder, and deacon, analysis of these terms indicates that bishop and elder are used interchangeably.

    Elder Qualifications

    (Titus 1:6-9)
    • Above reproach
    • Able to teach
    • Husband to one wife
    • Not addicted to wine
    • Temperate
    • Not antagonistic
    • Prudent
    • Uncontentious
    • Respectable
    • Free from the love of money
    • Hospitable
    • Manage own household
    • Not a new convert

    Elder Duties

    The Scriptures show that the elders serve by leading and that their responsibility involves the spiritual oversight of the congregation. All elders are equal in authority but not necessarily equal in influence.

    The elders' primary responsibilities include:
    • Doctrine - Ensuring that the doctrine of the church is biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders.
    • Direction - Ensuring that the direction of the church is consistent with the Harvest Bible Chapel statement of purpose and the Four Pillars.
    • Discipline - Administering in love and humility the process of church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-4; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; 1 Timothy 5:17-25; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, and Romans 16:17.

    Plurality of Elders

    The Scriptures teach that a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1). The Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders, exercising their individual giftedness, squares with the Scripture's teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counselors (Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 24:6). This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the Elder Board.

    Senior Pastor

    The Harvest Bible Chapel Senior Pastor automatically serves as an elder and, because of his public presence and responsibility before the congregation, may be considered first among equals as a member of the Elder Board. The Senior Pastor should be gifted primarily as a preacher/teacher and as a leader.

    Deacons

    The Bible teaches that deacons lead by serving (Acts 6). The qualifications for elders and deacons are the same regarding an individual's character, but they differ in aptitude. The elders are to be able to teach while the deacons are to be able and proved as servants.

    Deacon Qualifications

    (1 Timothy 3:8-12)
    • Individual of dignity
    • Above reproach
    • Not double tongued
    • First tested as servants
    • Not addicted to wine
    • Spouses must be faithful
    • Temperate
    • Not fond of sordid gain
    • Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
    • Husband of one wife
    • Manages household well


    Upcoming Events

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    WedWednesdayJulJuly23rd2014 High School Camp | Elgin, Niles, Aurora 07/23/2014
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    Get ready for the best time in God's Word, the best worship, and the best fun you'll have all year. Everything you love about Camp Harvest including incredible worship, the blob, archery, canoeing,... More
    WedWednesdayJulJuly23rd2014 Women's Campus Group, Wednesday AM, Chicago Cathedral 07/23/2014
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    Join us for a Summer Book Study! Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Satan is the master deceiver and his lies are endless. And the lies Christian women... More
    WedWednesdayJulJuly23rd2014 Junior High Ministry Summer Nights, Rolling Meadows 07/23/2014
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    Join Us for Junior High Student Ministry! Join us for a night of great worship , awesome games , powerful teaching , intentional small group time, and delicious snacks ! For more information contact... More
    WedWednesdayJulJuly23rd2014 HIgh School Ministry Nights, Rolling Meadows 07/23/2014
    Rolling Meadows
    Join Us for High School Student Ministry! Join us for a night of great worship , awesome games , powerful teaching , intentional small group time, and delicious snacks ! For more information, contact... More
    WedWednesdayJulJuly23rd2014 Junior High Ministry Nights, Niles 07/23/2014
    Niles
    Join Us for Junior High Student Ministry! Join us for a night of great worship , awesome games , powerful teaching , intentional small group time, and delicious snacks ! Also, be sure not to miss our... More
    WedWednesdayJulJuly23rd2014 High School Ministry Nights, Niles 07/23/2014
    Niles
    Join Us for High School Student Ministry! Niles Campus, Sunday evenings from 6:30-8:30 P.M. Join us for a night of great worship , awesome games , powerful teaching , intentional small group time and... More