Organization

Believing in the priesthood of all believers, but also recognizing that the Bible prescribes various offices of church authority, we have a very simple organizational structure, which provides order while avoiding hierarchy as much as possible.

All of our leaders are chosen from among our congregations and serve without pay.

Apostolic Christian Church Government

LOCAL

1. Christ is the Head of the church, the chief Shepherd; and all authority flows from Him.

Ephesians 1:22-23
Colossians 1:18-20
1 Peter 5:4

2. Direction is sought from the congregation for filling teaching and leadership offices either by vote or personal suggestion. The decision for appointment rests with the elder, a responsibility given to Timothy by Apostle Paul.

2 Timothy 2:2

3. The elder (bishop) and deacons are selected according to the directions and in light of the qualifications given in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9. The congregation's sentiment for support of a ministering brother for such duties is obtained by ballot. The decisions for appointment of elders and ordained deacons rest with the national elder body.

Acts 6:2-6

4. Duties of elders and deacons

A. An elder is the administrator of the spiritual matters of the church. He performs the rites (baptism, laying on of hands, communion, marriage), counsels converts and members, and performs all ministerial duties.

Hebrews 13:7
Hebrews 13:17
1 Peter 5:1-5

B. A deacon serves as assistant to the elder and performs all ministerial duties.

Acts 6:1-6

 5. Discipline of erring members is administered for their spiritual welfare and for the preservation of the church. The elder is responsible for administering discipline in the assembly of believers with their support and for their benefit.

1 Corinthians 5
Galatians 6:1
2 Thessalonians 3:6
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
1 Timothy 5:20

 DENOMINATIONAL

1. There are approximately 60 active elders who meet semiannually to handle national governance matters.

2. Doctrinal authority rests with this elder body which depends on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the Word for guidance.

3. There is no hierarchy within the elder body. Each is of equal authority and responsibility except that a rotating committee of five elders elected by this body handles correspondence, prepares the agenda and conducts orderly meetings, and responds to special local congregational needs.

4. The elder body is responsible for the approval of elder and ordained deacon candidates and establishment of major church projects.

5. Extensive communication and cooperation exists among the elders. There is frequent interchurch visiting and assistance with duties such as communion, hearing of testimonies, ordination services, and many other important matters.

Leadership Principles

As part of developing a Vision, Purpose and Guiding Principles for our Church Body, the elder brothers acknowledged the need to hold themselves accountable to a set of leadership principles. These principles are presented with the expectation they will align church leadership together around the truth and grace of God, behavior consistent with our Master, Jesus Christ and the long standing expectations of godly people everywhere.

God’s Word, the Holy Bible is the ultimate authority

We will not go beyond it, nor diminish its requirements of us as servants of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 3:16)

We are brothers among brethren

We serve an international brotherhood with respect and esteem for all (Mark 10:45) We are peers to all our brothers and sisters in our flocks (1 Peter 5:3)

As servant leaders we are subject to our co-elders and the counsel of the Elder Body (1 Peter 5:5)

We defer to the collective decisions of church leadership

Our congregations are a part of the international church body, not a body unto themselves (1 Cor. 12:12)

We are servants together of Christ, not representatives of a segment of the church (1 Cor. 1:10-13)

To shepherd with integrity and honesty we will:

Develop and disciple others for their benefit and welfare (1 Peter 5:2) Respect the diversities of gifts among all brothers and sisters (Gal 3:28) Equip sisters and brothers to fulfill their biblical roles in church life (Rom 16:1)

Be open to the way believers of various countries and cultures express obedience to God’s Word (1 Cor. 12:12-14)

We will model our behavior and decision making after Christ and the Apostles being sure:

Not to please ourselves, but to edify the church body to strengthen itself in love (Eph.4:12)

To take heed to ourselves that we do not seek dominion, but to be helpers of another ’s faith and joy (2 Cor.1:24)