Our elders, Todd Wright and Gary George, have both formal and informal education from various institutes and schools. Their independent studies and personal gifts complement each other in their desire to serve the body of Christ. They work together, along with our 4 deacons, to lead by example, teach expositionally from scripture, and love and care for the flock (Acts 20:28), each using their unique calling for the good of the church. Their committed desire to give Christ the preeminence in all things further reinforces the Biblical mandate for a plurality of elders.
We advocate plural because it is a biblical rule that two are better than one, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety. We expect that each elder meets the requirements of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and that they consistently revisit those standards for renewal and personal examination.
We grant the congregation, along with the elders, the right to determine the quality of any elder (or deacon) candidate, expecting them to affirm or deny a candidate based on their examination. Each candidate is allotted a year probation to be examined by the elders, himself, and the church members for finalizing his call to be recognized as an overseer.
We are elder led (not ruled) and congregationally engaged. (Rule implies heavy handedness, and invincible authority). Church elders do not dictate from high towers, but integrate themselves with the congregation, seeking to relate fully with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Church elders focus more on influence, and less on control; being tough when it comes to truth, and tender when it comes to love, and listening to those they lead. In seeking to maintain and preserve the spiritual health of our flock our deacons serve in providing a good link to the climate of our church body.
When excommunication is necessary, our elders inform the church of their decision. Although the church does not have a 'vote' on the matter, they have a voice and the elders expect affirmation from the congregation. If a wise and conscientious member seeks further clarification for the action, it is our glad duty to explain the reasons for our decision. The elders are not a behind-closed-doors caucus, but practice an open-door policy for informative engagement with our people.
Congregationalism does not mean pure democracy. True Biblical congregationalism grants liberty to the body to be involved in the life of the church, yet recognizes the role of her leaders to guide the church with high and holy standards. Scripture teaches that the elders "must give an account" (Hebrews 13:17 and James 3:1). If perchance the elders are questioned or confronted by wise individuals who use the Word with skill, it behooves the overseers to humbly admit their folly and reverse a faulty judgment. The truth of scripture must prevail.
Sovereign Grace Chapel strives to give Christ the preeminence in all things and allow His Holy Spirit to give liberty that God, in all things, will be glorified! We desire to be willing to reform ourselves if greater light is shed on areas in which we may be deficient.
Join us at 9:30 Sunday morning for part 2, as we discuss this important doctrine.
"The battle of the flesh is won or lost in the mind."
'Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.'