Article 2 — The offices
The offices are those of the minister of the Word, of the elder, and of the deacon.
In accordance with holy Scripture the Church Order distinguishes three offices:
1. that of the ministers of the Word.
They are called:
- those who labour in the Word and doctrine (1 Timothy 5: 17)
- (men who have,) by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to correct those who contradict (Titus 1: 9)
2. that of elders.
They are called:
- elders (presbyters) (Acts 14: 23; James 5: 14)
- leaders (Hebrews 13: 7, 17, 24)
- administrators (I Corinthians 12: 28)
- bishops (Philippians 1: 1; 1 Timothy 3: 2; Titus 1: 7)
- overseers (Acts 20: 28)
3. that of deacons.
They are mentioned in Philippians 1: 1; 1Timothy 3: 8, 10, 12; and without that name in Acts 6: 1-7.
The first section of our Church Order deals with these respective offices.
We can make the following subdivision:
Article 3: on the offices in general.
Articles 4-17: on the office of the minister.
Articles 18-19: on the training for the ministry.
Articles 20, 21, 23: on the office of the elders.
Articles 20, 22, 23: on the office of the deacons.
Articles 24-26: on the office-bearers and mission and evangelization.
Article 27: on the office-bearers and the government.
As may be verified by this summary, most attention focuses on the ministers.
This does not contradict the contents of Article 80, which states that no office-bearer shall lord it over other office-bearers, but can simply explained by the fact that they are full-time workers throughout their entire lives, so that certain regulations concerning them, and which do not apply to the elders and deacons, had to be established.
Some of the ministers may receive a special calling for the training of students in the ministry of the Word – with which matter Article 18 will deal —, or for mission work – the task of the missionaries being explained in Article 25.
Our forms for the ordination of ministers, elders, and deacons clearly confirm that they are all serving under Jesus Christ, the Head of the church.
The regulations and stipulations contained in our Church Order are very useful for the faithful execution of their respective offices in the service of the Lord Who governs His church.