Within the church government at LWCC, there is only one Pastor -- there is no office of “Assistant” or “Associate” Pastor. However, Pastor Ray has raise up proven and trusted individuals he confidently feels meet all of the scriptural qualifications for the important biblical ministry office of “Ministry Elder”. Like Aaron and Hur, as Elders, they symbolically “hold up the hands” of the Pastor should he become weary or over-burdened:
Elders, Debbie & Gerry Matts
The role of a Ministry Elder at LWCC is not that of a “Pastor” – although they are licensed as ministers by the church; perform some sacraments; and many of their other functions may be similar to that of a Pastor.
First, directly submitted to God and then to their Pastor, they are often called upon by him in praying for the sick, for biblical encouragement, or preaching and teaching and have other specific responsibilities as assigned to them by him. Often, as direct representatives of the Pastor, these Elders are expected to share the burden of both the Pastor and the congregation. Likewise, they must be ready to help the Pastor in his ministry to the congregation, when called upon to do so.
They have distinctly different functions and responsibilities than that of the Congregational Elder, Deacon, Leader, Department Head or Ministry of Helps worker.
In response to the physical and spiritual needs of a growing congregation at LWCC, Pastor Ray has raised up from the congregation, six biblically-mature individuals he feels have proven themselves and fulfill all of the scriptural qualifications of this important ministry – the “Congregational Elder”.
In Exodus 18:13–16, we read that “Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening.” Jethro, his father-in-law, warned him: “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people … will surely wear yourselves out … you are not able to perform it by yourself.” And, then advised him:
Most simply defined, “Congregational” Elders are mature and proven believers, who have been uniquely trained to specifically help the Pastor, primarily with his daily care of the flock.
These Elders differ from the office of the “Ministry Elder” only in the functions performed and their unique responsibilities. This important support ministry also has distinctly different functions than that of the Deacon, Leader, Department Head or Ministry of Helps Worker.