Leaders in the Early Church
Our congregation does its best to follow the Bible wherever it directs us. This is especially important in the area of church leadership. The church’s mission can quickly go astray with man-made ideas that take the place of God’s truth. We want to determine the kind of leadership established in the early church and follow that example.
Instead of regional, national, and international ruling bodies, local churches in the first century were led by groups of elders (Acts 14:23). The New Testament uses several names for these men including elders (I Timothy 4:14), overseers/bishops (Titus 1:7), and shepherds/pastors (Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2). Their task is to lead, guard, and nurture the congregation. These men were to posses certain characteristics in order to be appointed as leaders (I Timothy 3:1-8; Titus 1:5-9).
At Holiday Park, we have four men who have been appointed to serve as elders:
Elder / Minister
In the New Testament, deacons (from the Greek word for “servants”) were chosen for a specific area of service to the church. These men help carry out the works of ministry that are needed for the church’s mission. The Bible spells out the qualities that these men should possess (I Timothy 3:8-13). The work of deacons is directed by the elders and at Holiday Park, the elders and deacons meet monthly.
At Holiday Park, we have four men who have been appointed to serve as deacons:
In the first century, we see men like Paul, Timothy, and Titus preaching and teaching in the local congregation. These men often received financial support from the church so they could devote their full energies to that work (I Corinthians 9:14; Philippians 4:16-19). Ministers are not called “pastors” in the New Testament because that term is reserved for elders (see above). Some ministers serve as elders (I Timothy 5:17) but the roles of minister and elder are distinct.
At Holiday Park, we have two men who serve as ministers: