Values & Structure
Just like any family, God’s family has values. These are like the DNA that drives everything that happens within the relationships of the community. Here they are:
How does the Gospel motivate us to grow in these values?
The church is not an institution as much as it is an organism. God refers to it as a “body,” “branches,” etc. Yet, even organic systems like plants, ecosystems, and families have a certain amount of structure. It is the same with the church. Much like a vine needs a trellis to grow on, the church needs some structure. There’s a balance to be attained here. Too much structure and the vine will die as its needs will be neglected. Not enough and it won’t grow in a healthy way. Here are some elements of church structure we see in God’s word:
In the Bible the terms “pastors,” “shepherds”, “bishops,” and “elders” are all used interchangeably. The Elder is one that is responsible for watching over believers in the church in order to protect them from attacks from the enemy, heal the wounded and sick by Biblical counsel, seek out lost sheep, love them, and share their lives to maintain their trust. In short, they are to protect, teach, counsel, and guide those who have committed themselves to their care.
The office of “deacon” is one of a servant, which is the literal meaning of the word. This person cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes money collected for their use. In general, deacons manage the physical needs of the church.
1 Timothy 3:8-13
1 Timothy 3:8-13
Since the Holy Spirit dwells in every believer, He can use any of us to influence the church. God calls His church a “royal priesthood.” This means that each of us has a role in the polity of the church. Some churches place the authority of the church here – while others place the authority in the hands of the elders – or pastors – or pastor, and just about everything in between. There’s many thoughts on how these offices function together. For our purposes here we just want you to know what they are. Have fun!
1 Peter 2:9
1 Peter 2:9
- Elders: care for the spiritual needs of the church
- Deacons: care for the physical needs of the church
- Priesthood of the Saints: care for one another in the church
In Ephesians 4 the apostle Paul describes several roles within the church that serve the purpose of working together to build up the body to become more like Jesus. Some have been described as spiritual gifts, while others define them as functions that various people will serve. In either case, they are:
Apostles: help others get started walking with God and pioneer new ministry
Apostles are instrumental in people discovering who they really are and walking alongside them to get there. They forge new paths in the Kingdom and are a catalyst for change wherever they go.
Prophets: discern how God’s word applies to someone’s life or a given situation
Prophets are effective in revealing God’s heart for His people where ever they go. They can accurately discern God’s heart for a situation. They help people experience God’s voice for the very first time and help them develop hearing the voice of God in their own life.
Evangelists: help believers to share the Gospel effectively
Evangelists are the carriers of Gospel and partner with Jesus in celebrating people’s transformation. They stir curiosity and desire to know Jesus. Their life is a living invitation to all to join the Family of God.
Pastors: help believers heal and grow spiritually
Pastors are instrumental in guiding people through brokenness back to wholeness and healing their soul from wounds. They bring fun and enjoyment to God's ministry and allow people to feel like they are part of a greater family.
Teachers: help believers understand God’s word
Teachers have an ability for breaking confusion and misinformation. They are strategic in helping people know the truth of God and how it applies to their life.