In the days of the early church in the first century the leaders were finding that they weren’t serving all of the people as well as they wanted to. So they decided to get some help in the form of Deacons to assist them with some of the daily needs of the people. This would allow them to focus more on discipleship, teaching and praying for their body of believers. Acts 6 describes some of what occurred. The book of I Timothy also offers some more detail into this structure.
The leadership structure at Hope is set up with Elders, Deacons and the Women’s ministry team. The elder board will typically have anywhere from 4 – 6 members. Some of the lay people of the church will serve in this role for two-year terms. The pastors of the church are also members of this board as they are our main spiritual leaders. The Pastors do not rotate off, but rather serve continually in this role. Members of the board will often be involved in teaching, doing various visitations and provide general overall leadership for the church.
We don’t believe that God communicates only with the Elders. We believe instead that God works in all of our lives individually and instills in us a spirit of unity, as believers, as we all follow God. The Elders lead and set the direction for the church, and the church confirms this direction as individual members hear from God.