Leadership and Government
Hope Church is a member of the Reformed Church in America, and is governed by elders and deacons. The elders are responsible for the spiritual welfare of the congregation and overseeing the preaching of the pastor. The deacons are responsible for the physical building and finances of the church. The deacon's fund was established to help church members and others with food, rent payments, or bills when someone has need. Together, the elders, deacons, and pastor make up the consistory (church board) which meets once a month to help the congregation to be what God wants it to be. At the monthly meeting, the consistory prays for people of the congregation with special situations.
Elders and deacons are chosen annually, and are chosen by lot. The selection process is based on Acts 1:21-26 in which lots were cast to choose a disciple for the apostolic ministry to replace Judas. When we cast lots, we pick qualified people and put their names in a vessel, shake the vessel and turn it over, and the first name to fall out is the chosen one. Proverbs 16:33 says, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." The reason we do this instead of popular election is: 1- popular elections are not biblical in church elections; 2- popular elections cause jealousy and hurt feelings because it becomes a popularity contest; 3- casting the lot is a way that is fair for everyone and does not cause problems. 4- the election process is begun with prayer asking God that He will select the individual of His choosing.
Each RCA church is a member of the RCA governing body. The state RCA governing body is called classis, which means "fleet of ships." The state classis is responsible to the regional synod which consists of several states; the regional synods are responsible to the General Synod, which is made up of delegates from each classis and meets once a year to discuss important issues and pass laws that need to be followed. If the churches do not believe that a rule is biblical, a recourse for rebuttal is made available.
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