There are many different forms of church government:
Catholic church: worldwide government under the authority of the Pope.
Episcopalian church (English version of Catholic church): Bishops with regional authority with an archbishop ruling the regional authorities.
Presbyterian church: The church is governed by regional and national authorities.
Methodist Church: Governed by general council (meets every 4 years for joint church matters), council of bishops (meets annually to discuss spiritual matters), and judicial council (meets to decide church legal matters).
Other churches: (congregationalism to varying degrees) Local governance (either single elder [ours] or plurality of elders) within the church and any affiliation with other churches is strictly on a voluntary basis.
Ours is a single elder led church
The purpose of this class
: “with so many different forms of church organizations, which one is right?”
“With so many different forms of church organizational structures, which one is right?”
Question: “Which is closest to the NT evidence?”
The purpose of this class is to survey the scriptural evidence, while gleaning our traditional heritage, and determine the answer to this question.
In the end, answering the question, “Which is closest to the NT evidence?,” will lead us to a new question: “What must we do?”
Before looking at our scriptural evidence on church polity, I want us to take a moment to understand our traditional evidence of church polity.
I. Traditional Evidence
II. Scriptural Evidence
Closing question: “Having heard the NT evidence on church governance, what should shape our decision in how we organize this church: historical evidence, traditional evidence, or scriptural evidence?