The elders are members of the body who provide general watch-care and oversight. They continually evaluate the teaching ministry of the church and review major ministry decisions and strategic initiatives. They use their wisdom, discernment and shepherding gifts to ensure the church remains on a true biblical course, and that the life of the church is being well-managed with the assistance of other competent and godly leaders. Scripture indicates that the ultimate decision-making authority in the church rests with the elders.
Scripture also states the role of an elder is equal to that of an overseer. Paul tells us that “if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task” (1 Timothy 3:1). They are to care about the spiritual and physical well-being of members, regularly praying for the sick. They are to guard the body against harmful influences, confronting those who are contradicting biblical truth, or who are continuing in patterns of sinful behavior. In doing so, they are to continually close potential entrances for Satan, so that the truth of Christ will remain credible to both the congregation and the community (1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28-31; Titus 1:9; James 5:14).
Learn more about our elders and the selection process.
The deacon’s role, as with all Christians, is to serve the Body of Christ. The principle difference is that in their service, deacons specifically assist the elders in carrying out an individual church’s vision and mission. While the elders of the church are given the role of oversight and leadership, deacons are given certain ministry roles under the elders’ direction. These ministry roles can vary widely from church to church, but ultimately they all contribute to freeing up the elders for prayer, shepherding, teaching and vision-setting leadership. In keeping with the Acts 6 pattern, deacons free church elders to faithfully exercise their God-given tasks. In effect, deacons are uniquely dedicated servants in the church because they specifically assist the elders so that the work of the church can expand and grow.
Practically speaking, at Summit View Church deacons will:
Considering the size of the campuses at Summit View, the deacons also will strive to equip the body at each campus to meet the needs of the body, rather than being themselves at the front line of the ministry. While the deacons at Summit View will serve the body by assisting the elders, all of those that call Summit View their home church will be encouraged and expected to serve the body in accordance with their abilities and gifting as taught in the Scriptures.