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    Church Government

    Home · 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


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    SunSundayMayMay29th2016 New Believers, Aurora 05/29/2016
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    SunSundayMayMay29th2016 Growing in Christ | Elgin 05/29/2016
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    Congratulations on your decision to follow Jesus Christ! God's plan for you is that you would grow in Him. GROWING IN CHRIST class will help you do just that! You will discover the truths from God's... More
    TueTuesdayMayMay31st2016 Harvest Women Summer Study | Rolling Meadows 05/31/2016
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    SUMMER STUDY Beginning May 17 Having Intimacy With God It's possible. And it's time. Do you every wonder if you are missing something in your day to day relationship with God? Come discover what... More
    TueTuesdayMayMay31st2016 Prayer Night | Niles 05/31/2016
    Niles
    Join us for a time of prayer together every Tuesday night as we call out to the Lord for our church, our country and our world.
    WedWednesdayJunJune1st2016 Summer Study | Cathedral Campus 06/01/2016
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    Join us for our Summer Study on Wednesday nights from 7:00-9:00 PM. Our study this summer will be on Evangelism and will begin Wednesday, June 1 and run through August 31. Topics will include... More
    WedWednesdayJunJune1st2016 Junior High Ministry | Chicago Cathedral 06/01/2016
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    Join us for Student Ministry! We meet every Wednesday night from 7:30-8:30 PM at the Cathedral Campus. If you are in Junior High or High School you won't want to miss this! Questions? Please contact... More