“Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors, there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
While this office is obscure in the church today, we believe, according to scripture, that the institution of the Pastoral Council is absolutely essential. It is in no way intended that this group should usurp church authority, but is rather created to assist in the establishment and execution of God’s desire in the midst of the congregation. Its work is executive and pastoral rather than judicial or legislative. It is designed primarily as a safety net to aid the pastor in guiding the congregation in the most effective and orderly manner; and in maintaining spiritual oversight of the flock of God.
The Council’s roles are to ensure the safety of the congregation and the establishment of all church purposes; and to stand guard against those who would attempt to rise up and teach corrupt doctrines. These men and women are further charged to seek the fruit of the preached word by cultivating among themselves and the members of the church the grace of Christ and the ministry of evangelism. They are to endeavor continually to guard the church and individual members against apostasy and to seek the return of the apostate to the faith of Christ. They are also charged with assisting the pastor in the visitation of the sick and the governance of the auxiliaries of the church; and in ensuring scriptural principles, programs, and modes of operation.
The specific duties and responsibilities assigned to this group are as follows:
- To encourage spiritual growth and personal dedication
- To encourage evangelistic outreach; areas of stewardship (such as bible study, prayer, and family devotion) and obedience to tithes and offerings
- To attend to the spiritual matters of the church under the direction of the pastor
- To lay before the presence of God on a continual basis and to assist the pastor by godly counsel and advice when either sought for by the pastor or directed from the Lord
- To fast and pray often