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    Church Government

    Home · Church Government Harvest is committed to the Bible's teaching that men who hold the offices of Elder and Deacon are to oversee various functions of the local church.

    The Bible's teaching on the subject of two church offices is found in 1 Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9. Although there are three terms used for the offices of the church: bishop, elder, and deacon, analysis of these terms indicates that bishop and elder are used interchangeably.

    Elder Qualifications

    (Titus 1:6-9)
    • Above reproach
    • Able to teach
    • Husband to one wife
    • Not addicted to wine
    • Temperate
    • Not antagonistic
    • Prudent
    • Uncontentious
    • Respectable
    • Free from the love of money
    • Hospitable
    • Manage own household
    • Not a new convert

    Elder Duties

    The Scriptures show that the elders serve by leading and that their responsibility involves the spiritual oversight of the congregation. All elders are equal in authority but not necessarily equal in influence.

    The elders' primary responsibilities include:
    • Doctrine - Ensuring that the doctrine of the church is biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders.
    • Direction - Ensuring that the direction of the church is consistent with the Harvest Bible Chapel statement of purpose and the Four Pillars.
    • Discipline - Administering in love and humility the process of church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-4; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; 1 Timothy 5:17-25; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, and Romans 16:17.

    Plurality of Elders

    The Scriptures teach that a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1). The Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders, exercising their individual giftedness, squares with the Scripture's teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counselors (Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 24:6). This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the Elder Board.

    Senior Pastor

    The Harvest Bible Chapel Senior Pastor automatically serves as an elder and, because of his public presence and responsibility before the congregation, may be considered first among equals as a member of the Elder Board. The Senior Pastor should be gifted primarily as a preacher/teacher and as a leader.

    Deacons

    The Bible teaches that deacons lead by serving (Acts 6). The qualifications for elders and deacons are the same regarding an individual's character, but they differ in aptitude. The elders are to be able to teach while the deacons are to be able and proved as servants.

    Deacon Qualifications

    (1 Timothy 3:8-12)
    • Individual of dignity
    • Above reproach
    • Not double tongued
    • First tested as servants
    • Not addicted to wine
    • Spouses must be faithful
    • Temperate
    • Not fond of sordid gain
    • Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
    • Husband of one wife
    • Manages household well


    Upcoming Events

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    TueTuesdayAugAugust30th2016 Understanding your Medicare Benefits 08/30/2016
    All Locations
    The Stewardship Ministry at Harvest, seeks to provide teaching that grows our ability to be good stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us, and align our thinking and actions to the Lord in... More
    TueTuesdayAugAugust30th2016 Prayer Night | Niles 08/30/2016
    Niles
    Join us for a time of prayer together every Tuesday night as we call out to the Lord for our church, our country and our world.
    FriFridaySepSeptember2nd2016 20s/Young Adult Fall Retreat 09/02/2016
    All Locations
    Camp Harvest will be hosting a 20s/Young Adult Fall Retreat on September 2-5, 2016. The cost is $99 per person. Arrival time will be between 4pm-8pm on September 2nd (dinner on your own; snack... More
    SatSaturdaySepSeptember3rd2016 Food Pantry, Niles 09/03/2016
    NilesChicago CathedralDeerfield Rd
    The Food Pantry at the Niles Campus is open on the first and third Saturday of the month. We are excited to be able to serve the needs of our church family, as well as, the families in the... More
    SatSaturdaySepSeptember3rd2016 JOB SEEKER ESSENTIALS - YOUR JOB SEARCH: FIRST STEPS | CAREER CONNECTIONS ELGIN New 09/03/2016
    All Locations
    Your Job Search – First Steps | ELGIN Saturday, September 3 ~ 9:00AM - 11:30AM ~ Harvest Bible Chapel, Elgin Campus To pre-register: contact Susan at [email protected].. More
    SatSaturdaySepSeptember3rd2016 Step 1 | Rolling Meadows Campus New 09/03/2016
    Rolling Meadows
    Let us get to know you—whether you've just started coming to Harvest or have been here for a while and are ready to get connected, Step 1 is for you. Step 1 happens the first weekend every... More