The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22–23, 4:15, 5:23). He is the One that we seek and follow as He continues to advance the movement that He started 2,000 years ago through His perfect life, substitutionary death and victorious resurrection. After He ascended into heaven, He gave us His Spirit and established His Church to be led by elders.
Restored Church is an elder-led church that submits to the authority of the Bible. Scripture uses three words interchangeably to refer to the function of one and the same person:
- “Presbuteros” – Elder (executes God’s justice and government and administrates the affairs of the church).
- “Episcopos” – Overseer or bishop (oversees, a guardian, gatekeeper or watchman).
- “Poimain” – Shepherd or pastor (shepherd the flock, nurture and care for the flock, feed the flock).
Also see Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5,7; & 1 Peter 5:1-2.
This is the only other office mentioned in the Scriptures regarding the local church. The Greek word for deacon is “diakonis” and means “servant, one who ministers alongside, helper.” This does not mean that our deacons are literal servants performing service work; everyone in the church should have a servant's heart. Instead, a deacon's primary role is to come alongside the elders, assisting them in the pastoring of the church, therefore releasing them “to prayer and ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:1-8). Deacons are recognized servants of the church who must be qualified for the area of ministry where they are serving and caring for God’s people (1 Tim. 3:8-13). Our deacons, together with and under the oversight of elders, exercise oversight in community groups and other ministries.
As a church, we hold a value of plurality and consensus on decisions of doctrine, direction, and discipline. We also believe that every team has a leader, with Andy Rodgers taking the role of lead pastor/elder. This is done as a ‘first among equals’ rather than as a senior pastor with associate pastors.
We believe in the autonomy of the local church, in which the elders are the highest governing authority in that church, but we do not believe it is healthy or wise for a church to operate in total independence. As a team we actively seek accountability and counsel from those with whom we have relationship and in whom we recognize an Ephesians 4 role as apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher or evangelist.
These men include Matt Larson, the lead pastor of Anthem Church in Thousand Oaks, CA and Chris Wienand, an apostolic leader who recently handed over the leadership of Southlands Church in Brea, CA, and who also leads the Genesis Collective. We are also partners with the Evangelical Free Church of America.