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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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    ThuThursdayAprApril24th2014 New Women's Ministry DVD Study on Thursday Morning, Elgin 04/24/2014
    Elgin
    Join our DVD study. On campus in Cornerstone Thursdays 9:00–10:45 A.M. Study Dates March 6 March 13 March 20 April 3 April 10 April 17 May 1 Important Details: 30-40 minute DVD teaching by... More
    ThuThursdayAprApril24th2014 Pursuing More of Jesus DVD Study for Women, Niles 04/24/2014
    Niles
    Take a step forward in your walk with Christ. We'll start Pursuing More of Jesus on Thursday, April 24 at 9:15 A.M. Childcare is available. "If you want MORE than the bare minimum God has to offer,... More
    ThuThursdayAprApril24th2014 Missing Pieces DVD Study for Women, Niles 04/24/2014
    Niles
    Take your walk with Jesus Christ to the next level. On Thursday, April 24 we'll be starting a new study called Missing Pieces . "Does God care? Is He fair? Is He even there? Although you may know all... More
    ThuThursdayAprApril24th2014 Awana Pinewood Derby, Crystal Lake 04/24/2014
    Crystal Lake
    Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Or start making your cars. Join us for the Awana Pinewood Derby! Thursday, April 24 Harvest Bible Chapel, Crystal Lake 6:45 P.M. Have you made your own derby... More
    FriFridayAprApril25th2014 20/30s Service Event, Chicago Cathedral 04/25/2014
    Chicago Cathedral
    Looking to serve our community? Join the Chicago Cathedral 20/30s Ministry on Friday April 25 from 3:00-9:00 PM as we partner with By the Hand Club for Kids to help with a Rewards Night Carnival... More
    SatSaturdayAprApril26th2014 Men's Basketball League 2014, Elgin 04/26/2014
    Elgin
    March Madness is coming to the men's basketball league! New dates for men's league March 15-May 17, 2014 Game Times 8:00 A.M. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 9:00 A.M. 10:00 A.M. Are there different... More