REFORMED CHURCH GOVERNMENT
Christ is the supreme head of His body, the Church. As such, He governs it by His Holy Spirit according to the Word, through the ordained offices of pastor, elder, and deacon.
For a more complete description of Reformed Church Government, please see the Church Order of the United Reformed Churches of North America, available here:
The requirements for pastors are the same as those for elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9), since the pastor is also an elder.
The roles belonging to a minister of the Word and Sacraments consist of continuing in prayer and in the ministry of the Word, administering the sacraments, catechizing the youth, and assisting the elders in the shepherding and discipline of the congregation.
The requirements for elders are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7: “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,2 sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”
These qualifications are repeated in Titus 1:5-9: “appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound7 doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
The roles belonging to the office of elder consist of continuing in prayer and ruling the church of Christ according to the principles taught in Scripture, in order that purity of doctrine and holiness of life may be practiced. They shall see to it that their fellow-elders, the minister(s) and the deacons faithfully discharge their offices. They are to maintain the purity of the Word and Sacraments, assist in catechizing the youth, promote God-centered schooling, visit the members of the congregation according to their needs, engage in family visiting, exercise discipline in the congregation, actively promote the work of evangelism and missions, and ensure that everything is done decently and in good order.
Calvary URC currently has 4 elders serving along with the pastor.
The requirements for deacons are similar to those for elders and pastors. They are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13: “Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”
The roles belonging to the office of deacon consist of continuing in prayer and supervising the works of Christian mercy among the congregation; acquainting themselves with congregational needs; exhorting members of the congregation to show mercy; gathering and managing the offerings of God’s people in Christ’s name, and distributing these offerings according to need; and encouraging and comforting with the Word of God those who receive the gifts of Christ’s mercy. Needs of those outside the congregation, especially of other believers, should also be considered as resources permit. The deacons shall ordinarily meet every month to transact the business pertaining to their office, and they shall render an account of their work to the Consistory.
Calvary URC currently has 4 deacons serving alongside the elders and pastor.
MEET OUR PASTOR
The Lord has been so gracious to me in calling me into gospel ministry. It has been my privilege and joy to serve as a minister of the Word and Sacraments since graduating from Westminster Seminary California in 1997. With gratefulness to God and with much joy I began serving at Calvary URC in February 2021. What a delight to grow with the congregation in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, through the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments, through fellowship and prayer.
The Lord has also been so gracious to me in giving me my family, ‘a little church’: my lovely wife Deb (to whom I’ve been married since 1994), one child in heaven, and five children to raise here on earth. It is our joy to grow together in reading God’s Word, praying, singing, and living life together day by day in the grace of God.
The Lord has also been gracious in giving me many gifts to enjoy in life. I enjoy downhill skiing, cycling, running, hiking, traveling, reading and playing the saxophone. Every day and every gift bear witness to the goodness and grace of God!
You are more than welcome to come and visit us at Calvary URC, to worship with us, and to rejoice with us in the grace and mercy of our good God!
Brian Vos, Pastor