Baptists and Congregational Government
As Baptists, we believe in the separation of church and state and the priesthood of all believers. We, therefore, believe that the local church is autonomous and has the ability to discern God's will for themselves without interference from either the government or some denominational body.
Together the congregation is free to discern God's will for themselves on important matters.
Three common misunderstandings about congregational government
- Congregational Government does not mean democracy
- We gather together seeking God's direction, His will, and not our own
- We come with an open mind to listen to the voice of the Spirit
- We come together to confirm our collective sense of the will of God
- Congregational Government does not imply the absence of leadership
- The New Testament clearly describes a spiritual gift of leadership
- The scriptures are clear about the qualifications of leaders
- They are to be mature and wise and godly and discerning
- Having a good reputation both in the Church and the world
- Congregational Government does not sanction unhealthy conflict
- We are to speak to each other with love and respect
- Behaviour and conduct at congregational meetings are subject to the rule of scripture
- The model for congregational government is not an unruly town meeting
We are first and foremost an evangelistic movement committed to helping people find saving faith through personal connection with Jesus Christ.
Jesus did not die on the cross in order to create a democratic system of decision-making. He came that sinners might be saved and to declare the kingdom of god come to earth.
This is our primary purpose; as the Father sent Jesus into the world, so He now sends us.