ELDERS & DEACONS
In accordance with God’s design for His Church, the ministry of Lighthouse is overseen by the Board of Elders.
“HERE IS A TRUSTWORTHY SAYING: IF ANYONE SETS HIS HEART ON
BEING AN OVERSEER, HE DESIRES A NOBLE TASK” (I TIMOTHY 3:1).
Both the character and requirements of those who serve in this role are revealed in the verses that follow, I Timothy 3:2-7, as well as in Titus 1:5-9. We believe that God ordained that those who are called and gifted to serve as “overseers” (also called “elders”) are responsible to Jesus Christ, who is the only Head of the Church, to “shepherd the flock” that God has entrusted to them.
“KEEP WATCH OVER YOURSELVES AND ALL THE FLOCK OF WHICH
THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS MADE YOU OVERSEERS. BE SHEPHERDS
OF THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHICH HE BOUGHT WITH HIS OWN
BLOOD” (ACTS 20:28).
To those who are part of the body of Christ, God gives the following instruction:
“OBEY YOUR LEADERS AND SUBMIT TO THEIR AUTHORITY. THEY
KEEP WATCH OVER YOU AS MEN WHO MUST GIVE AN ACCOUNT.
OBEY THEM SO THAT THEIR WORK WILL BE A JOY, NOT A BURDEN,
FOR THAT WOULD BE OF NO ADVANTAGE TO YOU” (HEBREWS 13:17).
While the Elders are charged with overseeing the work of the body and caring for the spiritual welfare of all its members, it is important to understand that the task of “ruling” within the context of Christ’s reign over His Church is different than “ruling” in the eyes of the world. Jesus explained this role to His disciples:
“YOU KNOW THAT THE RULERS OF THE GENTILES LORD IT OVER THEM,
AND THEIR HIGH OFFICIALS EXERCISE AUTHORITY OVER THEM. NOT
SO WITH YOU. INSTEAD, WHOEVER WANTS TO BECOME GREAT
AMONG YOU MUST BE YOUR SERVANT, AND WHOEVER WANTS TO
BE FIRST MUST BE YOUR SLAVE – JUST AS THE SON OF MAN DID
NOT COME TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE AS
A RANSOM FOR MANY” (MATTHEW 20:25-28).
The Church is built up when those who lead do so as servants of Jesus Christ, representing Him among His people and working together to make disciples of Jesus Christ. To that end, God established the role of Deacons to aid the Elders in caring for the physical/material needs of His people. Deacons were chosen in Acts 6:1-7 and the biblical requirements for Deacons are given in I Timothy 3:8-13.
In Christ’s Church, the Pastor is an Elder who is gifted and called to preach and teach (I Timothy 5:17-20). Those who so labor are called to accountability before Christ and His people. The body of Jesus Christ has one Head and that is Jesus Himself (Colossians 1:18). He is the “Cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20) of the Church, and in every way the Church, including every true believer, belongs to Him. Those who lead are servants of Christ and caretakers of His body. They themselves submit to His rule and call others whom they watch over to do likewise. In this way, God is glorified and the Church is built up!