Elder Leadership

Many Baptist churches have recognized the weakness in having leadership vested in one man - the pastor.  As they have gone back to the Scriptures they have discovered that leadership in the New Testament church was always committed to a group of biblically qualified men rather than to one man.  The New Testament uses three different words to refer to these individuals: pastor, elder, overseer.  These are not different ministries but one ministry viewed from three different perspectives (Acts 20:17,28; 1 Peter 5:1-4).  “Pastor” or “shepherd” focuses on the care and protection given to the congregation; “elder” emphasizes spiritual maturity, “overseer” reflects the oversight and direction provided for the congregation.  The uniform testimony of the New Testament is that each church had a group of men that were pastors/elders/overseers in each church. At Three Rivers, oversight is committed to a group of men called the body of elders, who serve under the authority of our Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ.