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Theology IV Professor Christopher Ullman

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Theology IV Professor Christopher Ullman. Church Government Part Two. Authors. Peter Toon L. Roy Taylor Paige Patterson Samuel E. Waldron. Episcopalian: Overseen by a Bishop. Local congregations are governed by a hierarchy

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  • Peter Toon
  • L. Roy Taylor
  • Paige Patterson
  • Samuel E. Waldron
episcopalian overseen by a bishop
Episcopalian: Overseen by a Bishop
  • Local congregations are governed by a hierarchy
  • The office of bishop is distinct from and superior to the officers of local churches
  • The territory and churches over which the bishop rules is a diocese
  • Examples: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Episcopalian, United Methodist and some Lutheran groups
presbyterian overseen by presbytery and general assembly
Presbyterian: Overseen by Presbytery and General Assembly
  • Congregations are ruled by teaching elders and ruling elders forming a session
  • Members of sessions are also members of the presbytery which oversees the local congregations
  • Some members of the presbytery are also members of a general assembly which governs the entire denomination
  • Examples: PCUSA, Presbyterian Church in America, Christian Reformed Church, AG
congregational no hq but heaven
Congregational: “No HQ but Heaven”
  • No ruling body outside the local congregation: local church is autonomous (independency)
  • Grudem recognizes five different forms of congregational government
  • Two forms are prominent: single-elder and plural-elder
single elder congregational
Single-Elder Congregational
  • Pastor is the only elder in the congregation
  • An elected or selected board of deacons serve under him, assist him, and in some cases supervise him
  • Pastor serves as CEO in implementing the decisions of the deacon board on a day-to-day basis
  • Examples: Baptist, Congregational
plural elder congregational
Plural-Elder Congregational
  • Like presbyterian, the local congregation is to be governed by more than one elder or pastor
  • Elders have no authority over any other congregation than their own
  • No distinction is made between teaching elders and ruling elders
  • All elders are considered equal in authority: no “senior,” “head,” or “lead” pastor. All are to be in mutual submission to one another
  • An elected or selected board of deacons may serve under the group of elders
  • Example: Evangelical Free Churches
corporate board congregational1
Corporate-Board Congregational
  • Patterned after the example of a modern corporation the “you-work-for-us” structure
  • Church Board hires a pastor who then has authority to operate the church on a day-to-day basis
  • Board guidance and interference can be next-to-nothing to invasive
  • The Board retains the right to terminate the pastor
  • Examples: All Nations Church, Philadelphia Church
pure democracy congregational1
Pure Democracy Congregational
  • Every issue must come to the congregational meeting.
  • Every issue may be decided by voting by the entire congregation, or by the voting membership.
  • Decisions are often argued endlessly.
  • As the church grows, decision-making may reach a point of paralysis.
  • Examples: house churches, independent churches
pneumanarchy congregational1
Pneumanarchy Congregational
  • The congregation denies that any form of government is needed.
  • All the members of the congregation are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in their own lives.
  • Decisions are made by consensus.
  • In a short time, this approach gives way to a more structured form of government.
  • Examples: house churches, new start-ups