As an independent Assembly of God's people, Bible Fellowship Assembly is governed by Elders, and by Deacons and Deaconesses. (See below for descriptions of their distinct roles.) When they meet together, they form the “Leadership Committee.” We have no paid clergy, although we do support full time workers.
The following extracts from our “Principles and Practice” document outline our understanding of the roles and responsibilities of those in leadership positions. The full document may be obtained on request.
Ministry and Assembly Order
The Bible teaches that God has given specific spiritual gifts to all members of His Church for the “equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the Body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). We therefore encourage the ministry of every believer as the Holy Spirit has gifted each one. The development of these gifts and the ordering of these ministries in the Assembly is the responsibility of all, under the guidance and leadership of the elders, deacons, and deaconesses. Some of the functions of these ministries are outlined below.
Pastoral / Eldership
The overall accountability to the Lord for the Assembly is entrusted to a group of elders.... The role of an elder involves governing authority and as such is a responsibility given to men (1 Timothy 2:12). He will be doing the work as appointed by the Holy Spirit. The elders [are] recognized by the assembly. The elders are responsible for overseeing the ministry of the Assembly (Acts 20:28).
This work includes:
- feeding the flock, including ensuring the routine public exposition of the Scriptures by those so gifted
- doing the work of shepherding, ... as examples in a willing, loving, gentle, and humble but firm manner
- supporting the weak
- reproving, rebuking, and exhorting as necessary
All groups functioning as part of the Assembly are responsible to the elders as overseeing their activities. Elders meet frequently for prayer and sharing of pastoral concerns. The Assembly is not subject to any outside ecclesiastical authority but to God alone (Ephesians 1:22). It will not become part of any sect or denomination (1 Corinthians 1)
Deacons and Deaconesses
Deacons and deaconesses (or servants) who have the necessary Biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3) [are] recognized ... by the Assembly (Acts 6:1-6) for the particular services that they have been called to do by and for the Lord. Examples of these ministries include:
- physical care for Assembly facilities and services
- children’s work such as Sunday School and clubs
- youth ministries
- ministries to fellow believers
For the purpose of conducting the business of the Assembly, out of all who are serving the Assembly according the spiritual gifts and dedication of all in fellowship, several will be recognized by the Assembly for work on the leadership committee as described below.
For the purpose of conducting the business affairs and ministry leadership of the Assembly, a leadership committee will be recognized as a subset of all those in the Assembly who are serving. It will consist of the elders, the recognized leadership of particular ministries, and the required number of deacons/deaconesses. Members of this leadership committee are recognized by the adult members of the Assembly after careful consideration of the Biblical qualifications for that ministry (1 Timothy 3:8-13). As the responsibility for governing authority is given to men in the Scriptures (1 Timothy 2:12), the chairman of the leadership committee will be selected from one of the men on the committee.