Elders are the key leaders at Bella Vista. Our current understanding of the Scriptures teaches us that a group of men called Elders are to govern the local church. (Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5). Elders are spiritually qualified, mature men who are directly accountable to God for the well being of the church (1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–10; Hebrews 13:17). Elders are to rule well, and those under their care are to respect them (1 Peter 5:1-4).
Elder rule is the authoritative consensus managing of the local church by teaching, protecting, governing, and caring.
The Elders accept the spiritual responsibility that God has given them for the welfare of the flock committed to their charge. The decisions made by the Elders are not arbitrary but authoritative. The Elders seek God’s Word, depend on his Spirit, weigh various options wisely, and reach a decision before God and each other on behalf of God’s people. They seek ultimately a unity of mind that is produced by their submission to the Holy Spirit and submission to one another.
Authoritative elder rule is not “lording it over” or being domineering. No one man seeks to impose his will on another or on the flock. Elders endeavor to reflect the will of God—not the will of a man or group of men. Therefore, any decision that departs from biblical truth loses its authority; thus, it is no longer binding on the church.
Bruce Abernethy – Secretary