We believe that every person in the church is called to lead in different areas of our lives. From the scriptures we see that God has made us all in his image to reflect to creation the God we serve and also to rule over God’s creation (Gen 1:26-28). The bible calls husbands to lead their wives (Eph 5:23) and calls parents to lead their children (Eph 6:1-4), all the saints living as an example to others (Phil 3:17) and many other examples of leading. All this leading is to be done in a servant hearted manner, putting others first and not lording over others. Added to this Jesus has commissioned his church to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20). Every person is called to lead others to Jesus and to walk with them on a discipleship journey, teaching them the truths of scripture.
The word deacon translates from the greek word “diakonis” as servant, helper or minister. this word is used in an unofficial sense and in an official sense. In the unofficial sense every believer is to have the heart attitude and characteristics of a servant or deacon (John 12:26). In an official sense a deacon is seen as an office in the church (Phil 1:1 and 1Tim 3:10,13). Deacons were appointed in the early church to assist the eldership in a specific administration of ministering to the local church. Deacons were given specific tasks of service and had a delegated responsibility to serve. The office of a deacon is not of oversight or teaching doctrine but of practical service that assists the eldership in their overall responsibility of shepherding the church. The qualifications of a deacon are listed in 1 Tim 3:8-10 and 1 Tim 3:12-13. We have many people serving in the church in areas of kids ministry, music, connect groups, finances etc. Whilst they aren’t deacons in an official sense they are deaconing (serving) in the body of Christ.
At New Gen we have a team of elders leading the church. In the New Testament there are three Greek words used to describe the leaders and all 3 are interchangeable. 1) Presbuteros which translates as elder or presbytery. 2) Episcopos which translates as overseer or bishop. 3) Poimain which translates as shepherd or pastor. All three of these words refer to the same person. Paul calls the elders “overseers” in Acts 20:17-28. Again in Titus 1:5-7 Paul calls Titus to appoint elders in every church and later calls them overseers. See also 1 Peter 2:25 and 1 Peter 5:1-2. Why the three interchangeable names? Possibly they refer to the office (elder), the ministry (shepherd – to feed), and the work (oversee) but they all speak of the same person. Elders in the New Testament always ministered in team. Whenever a letter is written to a church eldership it’s always plural (1 Tim 5:17)(Phil 1:1) and never to a single elder. Paul and others always released elders (plural)(Acts 14:23 Tit 1:5) to govern the churches never a single elder. The qualifications of an elder are listed in 1 Tim 3:1-7 and Tit 1:5-9. Our elders are ordained and released into ministry through a process which involves, the eldership team, the local church and input from an apostolic team (Acts 14:23). In our case the team is New Covenant Ministries International. The elders lead as a team and govern the affairs of the church, which include leading, teaching (setting sound doctrine), setting vision and direction, prayer, discipline, pastoral oversight, praying for the sick and administrating finances. We believe that eldering is a function and not a title so we don’t place a title on their names and we address them by their first name. Should they one day stop functioning as an elder they would no longer be an elder. Click on the images below for more details on any of the elders.
Tom and Sandra have been released to travel trans-locally and minister to other churches to help strengthen and encourage them. They are still based at New Generation City Church but are no longer on the eldership team. Biblically this type of ministry is seen in Eph 4:11-12 and is seen as a gift ministry to strengthen churches and lay good foundations.