How does Christ lead Reformation Fellowship?

Jesus is the only king of the church in all ages and places (Ephesians 1:22, 23). He exercises the authority of His reign in His church by the Spirit using the written Word.

Every true believer, having the Spirit of Christ, shares in Jesus’ authority (Ephesians 2:6). Thus, we are “…a royal priesthood…that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness…” (1 Peter 2:9).

However, Jesus also gives officers to each congregation to administer the Word and sacraments and to provide leadership and pastoral care (elders), and to minister mercy (deacon), (see Ephesians 4:11-14; Philippians 1:1).

“Elder” translates the Greek word “presbuteros,” so we take the name “Presbyterian” because we believe that the church should be led by a group of elders (e.g. Acts 14:23 and Titus 1:5).

Though all elders must be apt to teach (Titus 1:9), at least one elder in each congregation is called to preach and teach as a vocation (1 Timothy 5:17). This preaching/teaching elder is what we typically call the “pastor” or “minister” of the congregation. As an elder he has no more authority than the other elders to govern the church, but as the pastor he does have a special and concentrated responsibility for the preaching of the Word and the administration of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The pastor, together with the other elders, is to shepherd the congregation in love, gentleness, and meekness, with a motivation to build up each member in the truth of Christ. The office of deacon exists to care for the physical and monetary needs of Christ’s people.

The New Testament hints at the importance of elders of churches in a region assembling together to govern concerns common to their churches (Acts 15). We use the term “presbytery” to designate this regional body of elders. The presbytery meets for mutual edification and accountability, to assure sound doctrine in our churches, and to help start new churches in our region. We are part of the Presbytery of Northern California and Nevada of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Reformation Fellowship, along with all other OPC congregations, orders its government and worship by our Book of Church Order. Click below to review this document and learn more.