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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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    MonMondayOctOctober20th2014 Harvest University 2014 New 10/20/2014
    All Locations
    Pray for God to equip, encourage, and engage hearts and minds of the men and women who attend our annual church-planting conference, Harvest University on October 20-22 at the Elgin Campus. You can... More
    TueTuesdayOctOctober21st2014 Mommy and Me, Niles 10/21/2014
    Niles
    This is a group for moms with young children to meet together for a time of fellowship and fun. The group will meet on the third Tuesday of each month. Our meeting location changes so please contact... More
    TueTuesdayOctOctober21st2014 Men's Boot Camp | Rolling Meadows 10/21/2014
    Rolling Meadows
    Learn how to be a good steward of your body. Come out to the Rolling Meadows gym to exercise your body and spirit. Join us for ten-weeks of intense workouts and devotionals as we work out together... More
    TueTuesdayOctOctober21st2014 Women's Boot Camp | Rolling Meadows 10/21/2014
    Rolling Meadows
    Want to learn how to be a good steward of your body? Come exercise your body and your spirit in the gym at the Rolling Meadows Campus. Join us for 10 weeks of intense workouts, along with devotionals... More
    TueTuesdayOctOctober21st2014 Financial Peace University | Crystal Lake 10/21/2014
    Crystal Lake
    A life-changing class that will teach you how to take control of your finances God's way. Registration for the fall session is now closed. Facilitated by Harvest Bible Chapel and using Dave Ramsey's... More
    TueTuesdayOctOctober21st2014 Financial Peace University | Elgin 10/21/2014
    Elgin
    A life-changing class on how to take control of your finances God's way. Facilitated by Harvest Bible Chapel and using Dave Ramsey's video series, it will put you on the road to true financial peace.... More