Our elders are (left to right) Barry Ward, Josh Tanner, Marc Minter (Senior Pastor), Clint Moore, and Brad Birdsong (not pictured here).
Marc was voted in as the Senior Pastor of FBC Diana on August 17, 2014. He and Cassie have two sons, Micah and Malachi.
Marc grew up in a Christian home, but came to repentance and faith in Christ while he was away at college. Soon after, Marc began vocational ministry as an evangelist. From 2002 to 2012, Marc traveled across the US and to various countries, presenting the gospel at evangelistic events associated with local churches.
Since 2012, Marc has devoted his efforts to pastoral ministry. He completed a Master of Ministry degree in 2014 through Baptist Bible College and Seminary, a Master of Divinity degree in 2021 through the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he's currently working toward a Ph.D. through Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Elder-led congregationalism is an increasingly popular polity (governing structure) among many Evangelical churches. Historically, this form of church polity was far more common, especially among Baptist churches, but various factors contributed to its waning during the early and mid-twentieth-century.
Pragmatism (the unpropositional adoption of methods that “work”) and industry (an emphatic stress on efficiency and measurable success) became the tools of church growth, but many churches are discovering the inevitable down side of embracing such a short-sighted ministry philosophy. Many are also realizing that not all numerical growth is good or healthy.
What follows is a summary of what I believe is the biblical structure for leadership and membership among a local church. I believe the Bible speaks to the matter ever-so-much more than many church leaders and members might think. I also believe that applying biblical principles will always result in the greatest blessing from God - namely, healthier Christians and growing churches - though God's blessing may not always appear immediately or obviously in our dark and fallen world.
Elders are pastors. Elders (πρεσβύτερος) is the word most often used in the New Testament to refer to those qualified men who lead among a local church.
Congregationalism is the idea that the local church is not subject to outside governance; it is autonomous (or self-governed). In a congregational polity or structure, the congregation bears at least some decision-making responsibility (though various churches may allocate responsibility differently).
A congregation is the visible sum of those Christians who have agreed to unite on the basis of (1) a shared faith in and love for Jesus Christ, (2) a shared commitment to live as disciples or followers of Christ, and (3) a shared love and responsibility for one another.
As with any organization, the local church must operate on the basis of some understanding of responsibility. Furthermore, responsibility necessarily comes with a correlating authority – one can only be responsible for that which he or she has the authority or authorization to do.
In an elder-led congregational polity (actually in any church polity), the question is not which group is over the other, nor is it a matter of greater or lesser authority. In elder-led congregationalism, responsibility and authority are based on complementary biblical assignments summarized by distinct job descriptions.
The question is NOT: Who is responsible? Or Who is in charge?
The question IS: Who is responsible for what? Or Who is in charge of what?
There are many tasks a church member might undertake, but these are the responsibilities Scripture lays squarely on the shoulders of every church member.
As is the case with all church members, elders may do all sorts of tasks. But elders also have clear responsibilities spelled out in Scripture.
Elder-led congregationalism best harmonizes the various and distinct responsibilities given to church members and to elders in the New Testament. Church members believe and study the gospel, take responsibility for one another, and share the gospel far and wide. Elders lead, both by instruction and by example, and elders equip church members.
With Elder-led congregationalism, the whole church is the disciple-making organism Christ commissioned it to be. Moreover, because God has designed it so, we know that ordering ourselves and functioning in this way will lead to spiritual growth and health.
In an elder-led congregational polity, everyone has a job description, and there is no such thing as an “inactive” church member. Everyone bears responsibility for the health and unity of the church, and everyone enjoys the blessings of such things.
Simultaneously, members’ meetings don’t get bogged down in the minutia of day-to-day administration, nor do church members become enticed toward distraction from their fundamental responsibilities. Rather church members become aware of and focused on their weightier responsibilities, and elders lead and equip the members to bear their biblical responsibilities well.
Copyright © 2022 FBC Diana - All Rights Reserved.
Powered by GoDaddy Website Builder