In Scripture, we find three distinct groups of people who exercise some form of leadership in the church: the congregation, consisting of all church members; elders, those men appointed to spiritual oversight in the church; and deacons, who serve the congregation at Summit Woods Baptist Church in hands-on, practical ways. Additionally, we employ a ministry staff dedicated in helping us to effectively accomplish our ministry.
It is our understanding that these groups work in concert to lead, with the congregation vested with preeminent authority in major decisions (i.e., in matters of doctrine and discipline). Bound to no outside association, body, or organization, the congregation is in authority over itself under God.
In their role as overseers, the elders guide the church, particularly focusing on matters concerning teaching, preaching, and prayer. The elders direct the spiritual life of the church at the pleasure of the congregation, handling matters relevant to the Word and prayer. The deacons, pictured not as a second legislative body but as a group of able servants, assist the elders by facilitating ministry. Finally, the staff enable the daily ministry of the church in a variety of capacities, filling roles necessitated by our growing congregation.