Church Organization

Jesus-Christ-Our-King
 
Colossians1.18
The West Concord Church of Christ patterns its organization after the instructions and examples found in the New Testament. The head of the congregation, and of the Church as a whole, is Jesus (Matthew 17:5; Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:10). Christ is the head of His Church, the Church he built and founded (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 5:23). All other Christians serve under the reign of Christ. The headquarters of our congregation, and of the Church as a whole, can be found in heaven (Acts 2:29-36; 1 Peter 3:22). We recognize Christ as the only one with the authority to direct the activities of His Church.
1 Corinthians 12 tells us that all Christians are members of one body, the Church. Just like the human body is made up of different parts, each of which perform a different vital and interrelated function, the Church is made up of different parts, each of which is essential to the functioning of the Body of Christ. In the New Testament, we read of several important positions in the Church. We will further discuss the role of Elders, Deacons, and Preachers in the Church of Christ.
Body of Christ

Elders

Although Christ is the head of the Church, Jesus did find it important to appoint leaders in the local congregations of the one Church. These leaders, commonly known as Elders, Bishops, Overseers, or Pastors, would be given the responsibility of the spiritual oversight of their local congregations (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17; Titus 1:5). These men were to help guide the congregation as they attempted to follow the teachings of Christ. The Elders do not have the authority to add to or change God’s Word (Revelation 22:18-19), but rather have the authority to direct the local congregation in its activities. The Bible instructs us that each congregation should have more than one Elder (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17-28; Titus 1:5-9). The Elders only have authority over the Christians in their local congregation (1 Peter 5:2), meaning each congregation is autonomous from the other congregations, bound by the Word of God only. The qualifications of an Elder can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. The responsibilities of an elder include ruling the local congregation (Romans 12:8), guarding the congregation and ensuring they are hearing the Word of God (Acts 20:28-31), setting a good example (1 Peter 5:3), and watching out for the souls of the local congregation (Hebrews 13:17).

Deacons

In the New Testament, we also find instructions for setting up deacons, men dedicated to serve and help the Church, in the congregation. These deacons, like all members of the Church, are first and foremost under the authority of Christ, but are also under the authority of the local Eldership (Acts 20:28-31). These deacons are men who are commissioned to serve the Church in some capacity (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:8-13). The qualifications of deacons are presented in Acts 6:1-6 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The responsibilities of deacons can vary depending upon the needs of the local congregation, but the role is always that of a servant. 

Preachers

Another important role in the Church is that of preachers, also known as ministers, teachers, and evangelists. A preacher is a servant of the Lord that actively engages in teaching the Word of God to others, often in a public manner (Acts 21:8; Romans 1:15; Galatians 4:13; Ephesians 4:11-15; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Peter 4:11). Although these men have dedicated themselves to teaching the Word of God, it is the responsibility of all Christians to share the Gospel with others (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15). 

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