Church Government

Church Government

The qualifications and responsibilities of the leaders of our church:

We are 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 two church offices is found in 1 Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9. Although three terms are 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
Not antagonistic
Free from the love of money
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 Doxa Church's statement of purpose and core values.
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.

Lead Pastor

The Doxa Church Lead 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 Lead Pastor should be gifted primarily as a preacher/teacher and as a leader.


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 differ in aptitude. The elders are to be able to lead and teach while the deacons are to be able and proved as servants.
Deacon Qualifications:

Individual of dignity
Above reproach
Not double-tongued
First tested as servants
Not addicted to wine
Spouses must be faithful
Not fond of sordid gain
Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
Husband of one wife
Manages household well

What It Looks Like

The following principles, as presented in the New Testament, guide our polity:

Scripture drives us to understand that the church is to be ruled by Christ, led by elders, served by deacons, and held responsible by the congregation.
Jesus Ruled
Jesus is the head of the church. Any other role or office is derived from and flows out of Jesus’ role, and our responsibility is to follow him. No one can take the role of Jesus as head of the church. He is the Chief Shepherd and Senior Pastor; Jesus alone has the authority and preeminence to rule the church.
Elder Led
The apostle Paul instructed Titus to appoint elders in the church in every city, men who were to lead, pastor, and guard the flock as “under-shepherds” under the authority of Jesus (1 Tim, Tit. 1:7, 1 Pet. 5:1-4). The list of qualifications for such men is given in 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1. The biblical model of local church leadership envisions a plurality of pastor-elders, with a lead pastor serving as first among equals. These men have the responsibility to lead, teach, shepherd, and equip the congregation, directing and serving the church in a way that models the leadership of Christ.
Congregational Accountability
The entire congregation is responsible for what takes place within an autonomous local body, having a role in the major decision-making of the church.
This responsibility includes holding accountable those in authority over the church, as well as prayer for these leaders.
The congregation’s role is to carry out the work of ministry as described in Ephesians 4:12.
Members are encouraged to participate in Elder-called congregational meetings for purposes of transparent communication. Such meetings may include, as needed, a gathering of congregational input on major decisions facing the Church to assist the Elder Board in action or decision. Any member of the Church may request a private meeting with two or more Elder Board Members to understand better the ministry and governance of this Church.