Caring for and Equipping the Congregation
Elders are pastors, and pastors are elders. The word elder is not referring to age, but to the office of elder, overseer, bishop, or pastor—biblically these are all the same thing. So, our elders are our pastors, and our pastors are our elders. We have staff elders and we have lay elders, but they all are elders. The elders lead the congregation by governing and teaching. The primary way they do this is through their life and doctrine. Ultimately the elders can act only by teaching and persuading the congregation, because the final say belongs to the church (see especially Matthew 16 and 18). The primary goal of the elders through all that they do is to care for the church and to equip the congregation for the work of ministry that God has called them to.
At CRBC we believe leadership should look Christ-like: decisive, wise, honest, redemptive, forgiving, loving, and humble. The Savior was approachable to everyone: Jews and Gentiles, sinners and saints, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, young and old. That’s what all Christians should be and what all leaders must be. Our elders are still sinners and fall short of God’s glory, but conformity to the Savior is what they continually strive for. When they fail, they exemplify something else for the congregation: repentance and faith in the gospel.