Christ gave the office of elder to his church (patterned after the Old Testament elder) to provide overall governance and leadership for the church. “Elder” comes from the Greek words presbuteros (this is where “Presbyterian” comes from!) The biblical picture of elders is found in 1 Timothy 3, Acts 20, and Titus 1. At New City, elders are ordained men trained to see themselves primarily as shepherds (1 Peter 5) who lead, feed, know, and protect those entrusted to their care. Our elders guard and promote the vision of New City and work to ensure that New City’s values are implemented at every level in the life of our church. Within the PCA, there are two orders of elder: ruling elder (RE) and teaching elder (TE). REs are laypersons elected by the congregation, and TEs are full-time vocational / paid ministers. Elders (RE and TE) are organized as a Session. The primary responsibility for word ministry resides with the Elders.
Word ministry: the preaching and teaching of God’s holy scriptures to all the children and adults of the church. The church is charged with:
- Guarding the sacred deposit of God’s truth (1 Tim 6:20)
- Preaching the word (Acts 6:2)
- Keeping to the pattern of sound teaching received from the apostles (2 Tim 1)
- Speaking the wisdom of God (1 Pet 4:11)
- Guard against false teaching and unrepentant sin that could harm the flock (1 Tim 1:3; Jude 4)
Christ gave the office of deacon to his church to lead in the ministries of service to the church, including (a) mercy within the church and in the community, (b) stewardship of finances, and (c) care of buildings and other resources. Deacons are ordained men who serve under the governing authority of the Session. The biblical picture of deacons is found in Acts 6 and 1 Timothy 3. The title deacon comes from the Greek word for “servant.” Deaconesses are women who are elected by the congregation to serve alongside the deacons. Together, the deacons and deaconesses (our diaconate) serve New City by leading various Ministry Teams (Operations, Connections, Mercy and Justice, Usher, etc.) and by serving on various committees (i.e. the Financial Committee). The primary responsibility for deed ministry resides with the Diaconate.
Deed ministry: the care for the physical, emotional, monetary, and other needs of the members of the church. This also includes the practical implementation and administration of the ministries of the church. The church is charged with:
- Caring for the needy (1 John 3:17)
- Sharing wealth generously (2 Cor 8:13-15)
- Providing for the poor (Rom 15:25)