Our spiritual leaders, also known as consistory, are responsible for both spiritual leadership and oversight of the church. The more obvious role of the consistory is to serve as the governing board of the congregation, making decisions regarding policy, budget, and property. However, when consistory members are chosen and ordained for office, they become spiritual leaders. Their role in providing spiritual leadership involves discerning God’s direction, casting vision, and setting goals. As spiritual leaders, consistory members are called to attend to their own spiritual lives and growth in relationship with God and to live as models for others.
Both elders and deacons are required to be members of the congregation who live the Christian life in such a way as to lead others by their example. They are called to be diligent in their study of Scripture, committed participants in the life of the church, and faithful in prayer. Neither office outranks the other. Nor does the Minister of Word and Sacrament have more power or authority than an elder or deacon. There is not a hierarchy in our church governance. We work collegially (in covenant) together.
The Roles Of Consistory Fulfill The Following:
Deacons are called to a ministry of “doing.” They are responsible for receiving and distributing the congregation’s offerings (i.e. benevolence). They are also called specifically to “care for the distressed” by their direct involvement in providing help.
Elders are called to a ministry of “being.” As they study God’s Word and strive to live what they learn, they are models and spiritual leaders for the congregation. They have direct responsibility for oversight of the church’s membership, caring for members spiritually and providing for worship and sacraments.
The Minister of Word and Sacrament is the President of the consistory, manages the day-to-day administration of church affairs, administers the sacraments and preaches the gospel, and serves as our pastor and teacher to equip us for ministry.