Fellowship Bible Church’s leadership structure is based on the example provided by the New Testament Book of Acts, and the apparent order established in the early church by the Apostle Paul: Elders and Deacons. We believe that these two church offices – the only ‘offices’ that can be derived from the New Testament teaching – embody the ‘speaking’ and the ‘serving’ gifts granted by the Holy Spirit for the nurture and growth of the church (I Pet. 4:11; Eph. 4:11-16). Elders are to be men recognized from within the congregation as spiritually mature, skilled in the Scriptures, and able to lead both by their teaching and their example (Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5-9; I Pet. 5:1-3). Deacons, while similarly qualified in terms of spiritual maturity, are differentiated from elders by the serving nature of their giftedness, again as acknowledged by the congregation.
Our elders share in the pulpit ministry, being the chief form of evangelism and discipleship provided by the Lord for His church, through four-month rotations of sermon series. Though it is not a requirement for service as an elder, each of our three elders holds at least one seminary degree. This is an example of our continuing desire to “study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” A more detailed discussion of our leadership philosophy can be found in our Pastoral Ministry Study Paper, prepared by the church elders and available at the church. An even more thorough analysis, written by a kindred spirit, can be read in Alexander Strauch’s Biblical Eldership, also available at the church or at most bookstores.