Church Government

Philippians 1:1-2
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Some friends and I, through a texting conversation, were recently discussing how the church can sometimes over complicate church government. I’m what you call a “sound bite guy.” I love to simplify what I say, down to the bare necessities. Here’s what I texted everyone during the discussion:

“Church gov ain’t that complicated:

Elders
Deacons
Congregation”

Everyone agreed.

That’s really all there is to it, frankly, regarding the components which make up the church. There are only three tiers to church government. (Especially since the last apostle, John, died. The office of apostle no longer exists.) Elders, deacons, and the congregation… all family integrated. That’s it. That’s what comprises the church. It’s real simple.

Notice above in the italics how Paul opens his letter to the church in Philippi by addressing all three tiers. (An “overseer” is just another term for “elder,” just as “bishop” or “shepherd” are as well.)

One of my friends who was in the conversation, took my simplified sound bite and beautifully re-expressed it:

“Elders oversee doctrine and life… Deacons assist in matters, so elders can focus on theirs… Congregation uses the gifts God has given them, to edify church.”

This is the church.

May we (Christians) together represent Christ… as His body… as He intends…

Godspeed, to the brethren!

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