Parkway Church is a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). You’ll notice the word ‘Presbyterian’ in the name of our denomination that identifies both our reformed doctrine and our Elder Rule form of governance. Lets take a closer look at what that means.
But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Ephesians 4:15–16).
The head of Parkway Church is Jesus Christ. This means that as an organization, we seek to reflect His priorities in all we do and how we do it. No decision is ever made that would knowingly contradict any of Jesus’ teaching.
In addition, through the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we endeavor to discern God’s program for us as a church. Whenever we implement a plan, we keep one eye on our effectiveness, and the other on the next step God seems to be showing us.
On a human level, the Bible outlines two offices designed to lead the ministries of the church. Those are the Session (made up of elders) and the Diaconate (made up of Deacons).
The elders are members of the church called to be elders by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28), elected by the congregation, and set apart by ordination to provide spiritual care and oversight. They oversee the spiritual integrity of the members and the teaching ministries of the church. Scripture indicates that the ultimate decision-making authority in the church rests with the elders.
At Parkway Church we recognize two different kinds of Elders.
- Ruling Elders: men and women who are called from the membership of the local church, examined by the session and voted on by the membership, having a full-time vocation outside the church.
- Teaching Elders: formally trained, called to full-time service, examined, and have passed the trial of ordination by Presbytery. By the nature of the calling and office the senior pastor is moderator of session and congregational meetings. Neither holds a superior position over the other.
Deacons are also members of the church elected by the membership and governed by the session to oversee the care of the sick, distressed, and friendless; to oversee the mercy ministries of the church, generate the liberality (of giving) within the body, facilitate the orderly collection of offerings of the church, and to distribute them to their intended areas.
Who may serve as Elders or Deacons?
Men and women who have are members of Parkway, who have proven themselves qualified. (1 Timothy 3, Titus)
Finally, under the direction of Session the Sr Pastor oversees the ministry staff and professional staff as they direct the day-to-day ministries of the church.
Courts of the Church
Church “courts” are our way of establishing a “chain of authority.” We have three courts in the EPC:
- Session: The elders of Parkway Church
- Presbytery: The elders from the churches in the Presbytery of the South East
- General Assembly: All elders from all EPC churches gather annually discuss and vote on matters of faith and rule.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
If you’d like to take the next step in exploring membership with Parkway we have an onsite three hour class for you. I know three hours sounds like a lot but we promise you it will go fast. The class is broken into three different sessions. There is a generous break between sessions where refreshments and one-on-one Q & A can take place. The class happens on a Saturday morning from 9am – noon. Our next class is February 11th.
- Session One: Our Mission, Vision, and Purpose as a church.
- Session Two: What do we mean by; “Worship, Grow, Connect, and Go.”
- Session Three: Expectations of members and Q & A.
How does that sound? Click the sign up button below. This will send an email to Pastor Mike Austin expressing your interest.