GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH

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Who is Grace Baptist Church?

We are a local assembly of believers who have one standard for faith and conduct - The Holy Bible. We stand uncompromisingly for the inerrant, inspired Word of God, it is what we preach, it is what we teach, it is what we believe and strive to live.

We are Biblical in faith, as opposed to religious groups which reject the basic tenets of the Christian Faith.

We are independent in government in that we are not controlled by any ecclesiastical body outside our own membership. The ruling power of the church resides with its elders, as guided by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

We are evangelistic in character, and we endeavor to speak the Good News of Jesus Christ to our own generation. We "reach them to teach them" and then "teach them to reach others."

We are educational in our approach, and we seek more than conversions to Christ. Our call is to make disciples for Christ. Our concern is for a membership that acts out of conviction and not mere convenience.

We are missionary in spirit, and we take seriously Christ’s command to go into all the world and make disciples. We desire to equip, send and support missionaries to proclaim Christ, and establish churches around the world.


How is Grace Baptist Church Organized?

"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." Acts 20:28

 

When you look across the landscape at churches throughout the world, you find a few different models of how a church is governed. Different churches have adopted differing methods. It could be reasonably said that the majority of churches fall into one of two popular approaches to church government: an autocracy or a democracy.

Autocracy
One person runs the church
Decision by personal opinion
Focused on "my way"
Power resides in one
Goal? Please the leader
Great for small businesses
Democracy
Everybody runs the church
Decision by popular vote
Focused on "our way"
Power resides in the congregation
Goal? Please the majority
Great for civil governments
The Bible teaches that both of these models are deficient. They both lack Biblical support and although they may be appropriate in some other arena, the bible teaches that they are not God's design for the church.

The Bible teaches that the church is Christ's; He is the Head not only of the universal Body of Christ but also of every local congregation. This means that neither one individual nor the majority of the congregation are the proper arbitrator for the life and work of the church.

As we look to the Scriptures, we do find one approach to church government that avoids the pitfalls of both the autocratic and democratic models and is in agreement with the teaching of the Scriptures on local church rule.


What Are Elders?

In the New Testament, the leaders of the local church are referred to by a variety of terms: "elders" (e.g., Acts 20:17; 1 Timothy 5:17), "overseers" (e.g., Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1), "leaders" (e.g., Romans 12:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:12), and "pastor/teachers" (e.g., Ephesians 4:11; Acts 20:28). Although each of these terms may highlight a particular aspect of the leadership role, they all are used to describe those who lead the church.

These elders are men-gifted by the Spirit of God and given to the local church as special gifts by Christ-whom God has appointed to lead the church. As the New Testament speaks of these leaders, it is clear that local churches were to have a number of elders who served in leadership, seeking to hear from the Lord regarding the teaching of His will for the church in accordance to biblical doctrine.

Elders are not "voted in"; they do not serve because they won an election. Elders serve and lead (with input from the congregation of members) because they are recognized as those whom God has gifted, equipped, and empowered for this kind of service. The church does not elect elders, we recognize them.

These men are those whom God holds ultimately responsible for the life of the church. Theirs is the God-given authority for seeing that the church holds fast to the truth of the Scriptures, that the teaching ministry of the church is sound, that the members are appropriately shepherded, and that the church is growing in a Biblical way. Wise and loving elders are intimately connected to the members of the church and open to their concerns, hopes, and desires. But, ultimately, the elders do not rule by the will of the people, but by the will and Word of God.

Copyright © 2017 --- Grace Baptist Church, 201 Belinda Parkway, Mount Juliet, TN 37122 --- Phone: (615) 754-5570