CHURCH LEADERSHIP SEPARATION: The Ordained Clergy and the Elected Council. Church Leadership has evolved over the ages and has been modified by denominations for various purposes such that biblical pattern is almost abandoned. Before the Pentecost, the Apostles recruited into the Apostolate (Acts 1:20ff). Thereafter, they ordained (i.e. recruited, trained and ordered) Elder-Overseers into the pastoral Episcopate-Presbytery (Act 14:23; 20:17-38; 1Tim 4:14; 2Tim 2:2; Tit 1:5). By divine institutional authority, the Apostles SET or SENT the ordained Presbyterate MINISTERS to oversee spiritualities (LOGOS and LITURGY) IN the Churches and identified with them (Acts 1:20; 15:2ff; 2Cor 8:17-18, 22-23a; 1Pet 5:1-4; 2John 1:1; 3John 1:12) as their fellows and successors in the Christ-INSTITUTED custody of the WORD and oversight in Church WORSHIP Services – for fellowship, ordinances and prayers (1Tim 4:13; 5:17; 2Tim 2:2; Jas 5:14). By commonly constitutional consensus, the congregations CHOSE their elected Diaconate ADMINISTRATORS to oversee temporalities (LOGISTICS) FOR the local Church and CONSTITUTED them as keepers of the TREASURIES and servers of the TABLES – accountable to their congregation (Acts 6:3; Rom 16:1f; 1Cor 16:3; 2Cor 8:19, 23b) Neither Christ nor the Holy Spirit seem to have constrained the Apostles to institute a uniform or fixed form of leadership structure in the early Church, for they had:
- the Apostles, the Table-Deacons and the Church initially, and later the Apostles, Elders and the Church in Jerusalem (Act 15:2-4, 22);
- the Apostles, Prophets, Teachers and the Church in Antioch (Act 13:1-3; 14:14);
- the Bishops, Deacons and all the Saints in Philippi (Phil 1:1), etc;
- even today many Churches or Denominations have their own forms of the Clergy, Council and Congregation.
Following purely biblical evidence, there are two arms of bicameral Spiritual Leadership (1Pet 4:11) in the Church of God:
- ORACULAR CLERGY=“one who speaks”: those Ordained by certification of elder ordained Ministers to be apostolic College/Presbytery for spiritual LITURGICAL stewardship, who minister the sacred MYSTERY/LOGOS according to authentically inspired Scripture (Acts 20:26-28; 1Cor 4:1; 1Tim 3:1-7); and
- DIACONAL LAITY=“one who serves”: those Elected by consensus of the bona-fide congregation Members to be local Council/Board for temporal LOGISTICAL succor, who administer the common TREASURY/TABLE according to common need and commonly acceptable procedure (Acts 6:2-4; 2Co 8:19-24; 1Tim 3:8-13).
For more details see CHURCH LEADERSHIP SEPARATION: The Ordained Clergy and the Elected Council.