We seek to structure our church in accordance with the Scriptures. Our congregation is not a democracy, but we are a loving and accountable family. The following biblical offices define how our church family relates to one another to accomplish the Lord's goals for us. These roles are not ways to earn forgiveness, acceptance, or blessing from God. They are rather roles for people already forgiven, accepted, and blessed by God through the Gospel, and structured for his purposes rather than our own.
A Christian is a person who believes the gospel. The Bible uses many words to describe us, including Christians, Believers, Disciples, Brother & Sisters, the Church, Followers of the Way, Saints (which means Holy Ones), a Royal Priesthood, the People of God, and God's Chosen People. Christians have a saving faith in Christ, a relationship with God, the free gifts of forgiveness and eternal life, and a place in Christ's church. All who believe the gospel are Christians. No one who fails to believe the gospel is a Christian. To be a Christian is the highest honor God can give to any human being, and is entirely a gift from God. Officers and members of the Resurrection are Christians, first and foremost.
The Resurrection is under the leadership of our founding pastor, James Amos. We believe that the biblical terms Pastor, Shepherd, Elder, and Overseer all refer to the same office in the church, which is the office directly accountable to the Lord for the congregation, and given authority to lead the congregation in accordance with the Scriptures. We believe the Lord's ideal for a congregation is to be led by a group of biblically qualified pastors with equal authority (though one may still function as the leader of the group). We are praying for the Lord to raise up other biblically qualified, faithful pastors from among our ranks over the next year or two, and are currently training potential pastors through our Shepherding Team. We believe the bible requires that pastors be male. (This is not because of superior ability, but is simply the Lord's revealed will. No other office in the church has a defined gender-role.) Until the Lord raises up these men among us, we are led by Pastor James, who is under Christ and held to the Word of God in all things. The biblical qualifications for a pastor are found especially in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and Titus 1:5-9.
Under the final authority of our pastor, our church is led in most aspects of its life and ministry by a team called the Servant-Leadership Council (SLC). In the Bible, the office of Servant is also called a Deacon (deacon simply means servant). The men and women servants in our church who meet the biblical qualifications for a deacon lead us with humility and faithfulness. All ministries at the Resurrection have servant leaders (usually only one) who have been given authority by the council (with the oversight of a pastor) to lead that ministry.
The concept of church membership comes from 1 Corinthians 12:1-31a, which compares the church of Christ to a human body with many diverse members (meaning parts such as eyes, noses and feet). The idea is that in order for a church (a body) to function properly, all the people who make up the church congregation (the members of the body) must play their unique part well, in harmony with various other members. While in this passage member refers to all Christians, we use this term in a more nuanced way. In many aspects of human life, membership in an organization is designed to bring privileges to its members. But at the Resurrection, membership is a formal commitment to serve God and other people. Our members are gospel-believing, sin-repenting, baptized Christians who have committed to the goals of our congregation by signing our membership covenant. Our members do not vote on the normal affairs of the operations of our church, though they do offer a vote of affirmation in regards to our annual budget, and the ordination of new pastors. Members do have the right to be deeply involved in the life and ministry of this church. Our members are together the family of God in our town who have banded together as the Resurrection, under the name of Jesus Christ. (It's Jesus' name that saves, not our church's name!)