What Is A Presbyterian?

Church Government

What Is A Presbyterian?We are a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). We affirm the motto of the PCA: Striving to be True to the Scriptures, True to the Reformed Faith, and True to the Great Commission.

We affirm the “Presbyterian” form of church government. This means that we are governed by “presbyters” or elders who are elected by the people. There are two types of elders. Teaching elders are pastors. Ruling elders are ordained laymen. This was the type of government the New Testament Church enjoyed (for instance, see Acts 20:17; Titus 1:5-7). This has been the form followed by the great Reformed and Presbyterian branches of Christendom since the days of John Calvin in Europe and John Knox in England and Scotland.

The elders meet in a “session.” The session has the oversight of the faith and life of the local church congregation. Representatives from the session along with the ordained ministers of the churches compose the “presbytery.” The presbytery has oversight of the ministries of the churches in a given geographical area. Through the presbytery the work of many churches is coordinated and their combined efforts enable them to extend the Kingdom of Christ much farther than would otherwise be possible.

The local churches also send commissioners – elders and ministers – to the highest court of the church, the “General Assembly.” The assembly meets annually and enables all the churches to have a voice in guiding the spiritual and practical affairs of the entire denomination.

Visit the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) home page for more information about our denomination.