Monthly afternoon service: Church Polity

Yesterday, we had our monthly afternoon service. We purposefully try to make it a different format to the morning service. Instead of systematically preaching through a book of the Bible, we take a theological topic, watch a relevant video and then break into small groups to discuss some questions. We come back together for a plenary feedback session and then we do the whole thing a second time to push our thinking a bit further.

This Sunday we considered church polity. Here is what we did:


  1. What does the Bible suggest is the role of the church elders?
    • Acts 11:30, 20:28; 1 Cor. 16:15–16; Eph 4:11; 1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Tim. 3:4–5; 5:17; Heb. 13:7, 17-24; 1 Peter 5:2-5
  2. What does the Bible suggest is the role of the congregation?
    • Matt 18:15-17; Acts 6:2-3, 13:3, 15:22; 1 Cor 5:2; 2 Cor 2:5-11; Gal 1:6-10, 6:1-10; 2 Thess 3:14f; Heb 13:17-19; 1 Pet 2:5-10; Rev 1:6,


  1. In what ways is it beneficial to have a plurality of elders?
    • For the elders themselves
    • For the congregation
  2. If elders are to lead but the congregation is to rule, how should this play out practically in Bethel?
  3. How does having an elder led, congregation ruled polity help with our mission?