Presbyterians Believe in Biblical Church Government
The Scriptures indicate that God has ordained a government for the church. The Father has set His Son to reign as the King of the Church. He has given gifts to His people, and has given continuing offices to the church of elders and deacons.
The elders include ministers, teachers, and pastors. These men are called by God to watch over the spiritual lives of the flock, and to make disciples. They are to teach the people to follow the Word of God, and they are to help the members of the church in their high calling as Christian men, women, and children. (Acts 20:17-38, Eph 4:1-16, 1 Tim 3:1-7, Heb 13:17)
The deacons are responsible and godly men within the congregation who are called to care for the physical needs of the members of the church, and of the various facilities and programs of the church. They are to pay special attention to the needs of the poor and to encourage the congregation in the use of their gifts and abilities for the progress of the Lord’s kingdom throughout the world. (Acts 6:1-7, 1 Tim 3:8-13) Presbyterians are “catholic.” The word catholic means universal or world-wide. When we say that we are “catholic” believers, we mean that we believe in a connectional, world-wide church, rather than independent congregations with no governmental relationship between one another. Church members are accountable to God through the ministry of the elders of the local congregation. Churches and pastors of local congregations are subject to Presbytery, a regional body of elders and pastors. Presbyteries are subject to a national gathering of elders that is called “General Assembly.” The Assembly meets once per year and oversees a wide variety of ministries reaching throughout the world with the gospel of Christ.