Ephesians 4:11-12 reveals to us, “It was he (God) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” At Living Water, we believe that the pastor’s purpose is to provide spiritual leadership as one who is recognized as having a “call” to this body. The Holy Spirit, church leadership, and the congregation confirm the pastor’s call. The pastor is to live according to the high calling of good character, respectability, self control, devotion to family and at all times demonstrating maturity of faith (1Timothy 3:1-7). Supporting the pastor in this ministry are elders that are appointed according to scriptural patterns revealed in I Timothy 3 and Acts 14:23. The pastor and elders are responsible for the spiritual care, nurture, and restoration processes of the congregation.
As members of the congregation, we are called to respect and honor the spiritual leaders of the church, holding them in the highest regard because of their work (I Thessalonians 5:12-13). Because of their high calling, their visibility within the church and the community, and their responsibility to God and the body of Christ, we do not make the appointment of elders lightly, but only do so after much prayer. It is the responsibility of the body to provide financial support for the pastor as he labors to preach and teach the word and not to restrain him. (I Timothy 5:17-22). And we, as Living Water members are to obey and submit to our spiritual leaders who watch over us, understanding that they will give an account of their stewardship to God (Hebrews 13:17).
The church appoints deacons and deaconesses to various tasks and positions, as they are needed in church life. Their appointments are renewable annually. Elders, deacons/deaconesses, church and financial secretaries, Sunday school superintendent, and the music department all support the spiritual leadership of the church. They provide for the physical and administrative needs of the church, as well as assisting in teaching and in worship. Church leadership includes these positions along with other ministerial personnel. They will, at times, be involved in decision-making that may affect the spiritual growth of the church. The leadership is committed to having a “listening ear” to the whole body of Christ who are committed members of this local assembly. We believe that all members are subject to Christ as Head and to honor, respect, and be open-hearted to those in authority within the church.