The Bible defines church leadership and establishes high standards for those who lead (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-16). Ultimate authority over the church belongs to Jesus Christ himself (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23; 1 Peter 5:4), but on the local level Scripture identifies two offices. These are pastors (also called elders) and deacons.
Pastors / Elders
Elders served the New Testament church as overseers and shepherds (1 Peter 5:1-4). In these roles they provide organizational direction, teach and preach God’s Word for the growth of the church, and work to ensure the well-being of the entire congregation (Acts 20:28; 2 Timothy 2:15).
The deacons serve in a supportive role to the elders by bearing some of the administrative weight of the ministry so that the elders are able to dedicate themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:13). They oversee the missions outreach and partner with the church’s trustees and treasurer in dealing with the church’s finances and facilities.