The procedure for appointing officebearers is shown in the following chart. It follows the order that was established by the early Christian church. The steps which reveal more autocratic procedures are shown with vertical arrows, the more democratic are shown with horizontal arrows.
PROCEDURE FOR APPOINTING AND ELECTING CHURCH OFFICEBEARERS
1. The King of the Church, through His servants, the consistory: a) sets a duo of persons for one position, or b) nominates one for the position
And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
- Acts 1:23
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.
- Titus 1:5
2. The subjects of the King, the congregation, pray for the King's direction, and vote (cast lots) to: a) elect one of the two persons, or b) approve the one person nominated by the consistory
And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two Thou hast chosen.
And they gave forth their lots: and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
- Acts 1:24,26
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch.
- Acts 6:5
3. The King, by means of His servant, installs the chosen person into his office
Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
- Acts 6:6
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commmended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
- Acts 14:23
4. The King grants enabling grace to the officebearer, and the congregation is to respect him as the King's servant
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
- I Timothy 4:14
And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected: but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
- Galatians 4:14
5. The King delegates authority and power to the officebearers to rule His church according to His Word, and the congregation willingly obeys their biblical leadership
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
- Matthew 6:19
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
- Hebrews 13:17
Vertical arrows indicate more autocratic (King to subject) action;
horizontal arrows indicate a democratic (subject to subject) element
This primarily autocratic (King to subject) format is witnessed not only in the appointment of the church's officebearers, but also in its general method of conducting business.
Ignorance of the autocratic structure of church government can lead to problems of misunderstanding and tension. The reason for