- Three basic kinds of church government (plus a hybrid fourth form). All can’t be right!
- Universal concept
- Local churches (or parishes) joined together under universal oversight with a universal treasury doing universal work.
- Prime example is the Catholic church, headed by the Pope.
- Brotherhood concept
- Local churches joined together under brotherhood oversight with a brotherhood treasury doing brotherhood work.
- Example: Southern Methodist Conference
- Local concept
- Autonomous local churches. Individual Christians are part of the universal church with Christ as the head.
- Local oversight
- Acts 14:23 – Elders commanded to oversee local churches
- I Peter 5:1-4 – Elders are to oversee their own flock – not other churches.
- Local treasury
- I Corinthians 16:1-2
- Local work
- This is the only structure authorized by God.
- Brotherhood + local church concept
- Local churches under the guidance of the ruling convention. Much looser than the brotherhood concept.
- They claim only local oversight, treasury, and work, but they also have brotherhood oversight, treasury, and work in some cases.
- Baptist Hour
- Buckner Children’s Home
- “Churches of Christ”
- Local churches joined together in a loose denominational structure.
- They claim only local oversight, treasury, and work, but also have elements of brotherhood oversight, treasury, and work.
- Herald of Truth – Radio program run by a church in Abilene. Many churches sent money to support the work.
- Boles Children’s Home
For further study, see also:
organization of the church
Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Methodist Conference
work of the church
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