Since Jesus Christ is the 'head of the body, the church' (Colossians 1.18), he alone is the Leader of our church. We believe that he guides us as a church through his word and Spirit as we yield to his loving leadership. As the 'chief shepherd,' Jesus appoints some believers in the church family as 'undershepherds' (1 Peter 5.4) to provide leadership and pastoral care under his guidance. These individuals are called 'Elders.'
At Grace Church, we divide our elders into two categories:
- The Leading Elders (or 'Ruling Elders,' 1 Tim. 5.17) are drawn from the men of the congregation who work in the community and are not paid by the church for their ministry.
- The Teaching Elders (1 Timothy 5.17) are those who, in addition to their leadership responsibilities, also serve on the pastoral staff of the church.
This distinction, drawn from 1 Timothy 5.17, is descriptive. The Leading Elders and the Teaching Elders are not different in their character and behavior qualifications or in their leadership or decision-making responsibilities.
The Lead Pastor, who is also a Teaching Elder, serves as moderator of the Elders' meetings. He is also responsible, under the authority of the Elders, for the leadership and nurturing of the staff team of the church. As the church grows in size, it also grows in its administrative and ministry needs. When this happens, the Elders form other teams who will deal with things such as administration, finances, and world ministries. These teams then function, under the guidance of the Elders to assist the Elders, the Staff, and the entire body in the fulfillment of our vision and mission.
Our Elder Team presently includes the following people (pictured at the top):
John Connolly (not pictured)
Robert Bell (not pictured)
In addition, there are also two men who meet with the Elders regularly and contribute to the team as Congregational Representatives: