The 318 Fellowship is...
EXECUTIVE TEAM AFFIRMED
MINISTRY TEAM ORGANIZED
The 318 Fellowship is...
EXECUTIVE TEAM AFFIRMED
MINISTRY TEAM ORGANIZED
According to Colossians 1:15-18, "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities: all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." Jesus Christ is the head of the church.
And according to 2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we all, who with unveiled faces beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." There is no other we desire to emulate, imitate or follow except the Son of God in our strategy, execution and ministry.
The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a new Testament Church. The pastor will lead the congregation, the organizations, the ministry teams, and the church staff to perform their tasks and fulfill the vision of the church: (1) leading the church in the achievement of its mission, (2) proclaiming the Gospel to believers and unbelievers, and (3) caring for the church's members and other persons in the community.
Whether the term pastor, bishop, elder or overseer is used, we believe that God has called out and set apart certain men. According to 1 Timothy 3:1, "The saying is trustworthy: if anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task." There are two words in this singular verse that help us understand "the who" these men are in God's plan for church leadership. Before God describes the character of the man in the verse that follow he uses two words to identify him: "orego" and "epithumeo" translated "aspires" and "desire."
The first word "orego" or "aspires" describes the action of reaching for something to grasp or attain or achieve externally. If a person pursues an idea, a course of action: if he feels like he could go after, achieve, acquire, of fulfill based upon his gifts and talents and abilities then he is aspiring to do something, in this case, the office of elder, pastor, bishop or overseer.
The second word "epithumeo" or "desires" describes the internal compelling to do something outwardly because of what is going on inwardly. This bend or longing or calling does not stem from logic or explanation or even necessity: it stems from an inner drive to accomplish. Whereas the first word is something you choose to do or desire to do outwardly, the second word is something that is more done to you inwardly.
The culmination of these two words in the same description help us to understand that the position of Pastor/Elder is more than just something you think one should do but is something you are driven to do by the compelling activity of the Holy Spirit.
I believe that these two words together give us the ecclesiastical reference to a person who is "called" to ministry. This role in the God's Kingdom is not something we think we can do nor is it something we think should be done to accomplish some strategic goal; it is something we are compelled to do by the Lord to fulfill His desire for the church of living God.
There is a biblical principle in the story of Acts 6:1-7 that should permeate the church more than just in the position of deacon. The term "diakonos" which we derive the word and office "deacon" from is not used in this passage as a description of these seven men. In other words, these seven men were not called "deacons" but servants. The term is only used to describe the two-fold responsibility that the apostles asked these men to carry out: caring and serving. In order to better fulfill their calling, these men were set aside to assist the apostles in carrying out the responsibility of the church - serving the widows. The empowering of these seven men for ministry enabled the apostles to focus their attention on that which only they could do: preach and teach.
Though our most common description of these men's responsibilities rest on serving the needs of the widows, the passages that follow describe these same men and those who felt the need to communicate their faith, confront sin and to disciple new believers. The emphasis should not be on what they did, i.e. serving tables but rather why they did it, to free up the apostles.
Based upon 1 Corinthians 12, the Body of Christ is made up of many members, all of which individually have specific purpose(s) that enable the church to carry out its ministry both within the walls and outside. And according to Ephesians 4:12-14, the leadership of the pastors have been called "to equip his 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 the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" thus the elders, pastors, bishops and overseers are called to give the ministry away.
We believe that in an effort to better fulfill their calling and responsibility, certain believers should be set aside in order to assist with the leadership of the church especially in areas of leadership, finances, facility and community. The Elders/Pastors in conjunction with the Executive Leadership Team under the authority of Jesus Christ will seek to develop, implement and carry out policy, procedure and practice through the ministry teams, lay leadership and the congregation of our church.
Though we often reference the establishment of deacons in Acts 6, it really is not until years later in 1 Timothy that the office of deacon is established. Deacons are meant to be servant leaders by definition. Men, meant, to come alongside the pastoral leadership to serve the body of Christ by maintaining unity and care. As spiritual leaders in the church, they can been seen as a sounding board, representing a larger segment of the church congregation, caring for the flock through prayer, compassion and care.
In keeping with 1 Corinthians 12, it should be our desire that specific ministry roles should be implemented by the community faith that the Lord has drawn together. Each one having specific gifts, hearts of passion, abilities, personalities and experiences, will seek to be used by God to carry out the ministries of the 318 Fellowship.
There are three types of ministry teams: elected, service and special. Elected teams serve on a three-year rotational basis to carry out the administrative capacity of the church. The service teams are built around the on-going passion of those who serve, thus there are no limits on time or rotation except established by the team itself. Special teams will be determined and elected for a specific time and role based upon need as it arises.