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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Ask the Pastor
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes What do you believe about Pastor or Elder/Deacon Rule, with members voting only for their Pastor/Elder/Deacons?

You may click on verses to reveal pop-up Scripture

clear.gif - 808 Bytes The pastor has been given the leadership within the church (I Tim. 3:5). However, he is not to be a lord of God's church (I Peter 5:3), and we also know from Scripture that the church had some say in issues. They did vote for the deacons (Acts 6), they were the final authority in church discipline (Matt 18), they sent out the messengers to the churches with instructions from the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:22), they sent out Barnabas to see what was happening in Antioch (Acts 11:22), Paul was brought on his way by the church (Acts 15:3), received by the church (Acts 15:4) and reported back to the church (Acts 15:30, 14:26), church members were called upon to handle disputes among members (I Cor. 6:4), and the church chose the men to travel with Paul (II Cor. 8:19, 23). In your own statement above you indicate that the church can give an up or down vote on the budget. Thus, the pastor does not have absolute authority within the church, nor does a group of pastors, nor does a pastor/deacon board. The pastor, or board, is not the church. The epistle to the church at Philippi is expressly addressed to "to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:1). Thus, the church consists of saints, pastors, and deacons, and any church action would involve all three of these groups. Now, common sense has to come in somewhere. As a former pastor of mine often said, "We aren't going to vote on whether or not to take out the trash". We aren't going to vote on who to bring in for special meetings, or what spiritual direction the church is going to go. Good men can differ as to exactly what needs to be voted on and what doesn't. However, pastoral dictatorship, or a board driven oligarchy, is not Scriptural, and neither is a church where the pastor is simply an employee paid to preach while all other decisions are handled by someone else. There is a balance in between the two extremes.

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Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
Email: Ask the Pastor
Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209

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