Who Leads the Church?
Ultimately, Jesus is the one who leads, shepherds, and builds his church (Matt. 16:18, Heb. 13:20, 1 Peter 5:4). But in each local church, Jesus has placed elders to love, lead, and care for his church under his leadership. So what is an elder? An elder is a biblically-qualified, Spirit-called man, who fulfills the character requirements of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and is committed to loving, serving and leading the people of the church for their good and for God’s glory (1 Peter 5:2-3).
In the New Testament, there are three terms that are used interchangeably for the office of elder: elder, overseer, and pastor or shepherd (see Titus 1:5-9, Acts 20:28,1 Peter 2:25, 1 Peter 5:1-3). These terms do not describe three different offices of leadership but rather three aspects of one office of leadership—they are descriptive of the type of work that an elder must do in leading the church.
At Sound City, we use the terms “elder,” “pastor,” and “overseer” interchangeably.
Additionally, the church is to be led by a group of qualified elders. This is a consistent pattern that we see throughout the entire New Testament (see Titus 1:5, James 5:14, or Acts 14:23 for example). In fact, every time the word “elder” is used in the New Testament, it is used in the plural (with the exception of times that John or Peter referred to themselves as an elder). Following the pattern of the New Testament means that Sound City Bible Church is to be led by a true plurality of godly elders. We see much safety and wisdom in this approach. As Proverbs 11:14 states, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
Financial Accountability Team
The Financial Accountability Team is a group of non-paid members of the church who come alongside the Elder Team to assist in matters of budgeting, staff compensation, and other financial considerations of the church. These men and women meet the character qualifications of a deacon found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.