The New Testament model of leadership in a congregation is by the oversight of qualified men. These men are called “overseers” in Acts 20:28, “pastors” in Eph. 4:11, or “elders” in 1 Pet. 5:1. All of these indicate the role of a shepherd leading and caring for the flock, and are not to be confused with the “preacher” or “minister” unless he also is selected to serve as one of the elders. The qualifications for a man chosen for this role are found in 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1 and the importance of having this structure in place can be seen in Acts 14:23 and Titus 1:5. We are blessed to have qualified men serving as shepherds of the Southwest congregation, and “keeping watch” over our souls (Heb. 13:17).
In the New Testament, there is a special role for carrying out the physical needs and duties within the church. This is the role of the “deacon” (or servant). These duties, while primarily service in nature, also carry leadership and example within the church and are to be held by qualified men. These qualifications can be found in 1 Tim. 3:8-13. Deacons are men placed in charge of temporal matters to ensure faithful execution for the building up and functioning of the church. An example can be seen in Acts 6:1-7.
Our Ministers serve under the leadership and vision of our elders to build up and strengthen the congregation.