The highest position held within the church is by none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the absolute and universal head of the body, which is his church. (Colossians 1:18) Though previously existing as the Word, sharing God’s nature, Jesus purchased the church with his own blood after becoming flesh and living among us. (John 1:1-18)(Acts 20:28) True to his promise, Jesus established his church almost 2000 years ago, on the first Pentecost feast following his resurrection, and ascension to receive a prophesied kingdom. (Matthew 16:18)(Acts 2:41,47)(Daniel 7:13,14) Though our heavenly Father is the only one exception to being subject to Jesus, God has for now vested all authority in His Christ (Messiah) both in heaven and on earth. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)(Matthew 28:18-20) Jesus is now seated on the right hand of God, ruling over his kingdom until the time comes when it will be returned to God. As such, Christ’s kingdom has no earthly headquarters, so his church remains allegiant to heavenly governance and the inspired teachings of Jesus and his apostles. (Colossians 1:13; 3:1)(Acts 2:29-39)(Philippians 3:20)
The foundation of the church rests solidly upon the apostles and prophets. (Ephesians 2:19-22) The apostles of Christ were given vested authority over every congregation of the entire church (Matthew 18:18)(2 Corinthians 11:28) and were promised the sending of the Holy Spirit and guidance into all truth. (John 16:13) Though their inspired teachings were originally given orally, these were eventually penned in written scriptures now known as the New Testament. It is specifically stated that this was done so that we might believe on Jesus and to remind us of all these doctrines after the physical decease of the apostles. (John 20:30,31)(2 Peter 1:12-15) Through the Bible, we now have possession of all things that pertain to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)
The holy scriptures found in the Bible are our only rule of faith and doctrine within the church. (Matthew 4:4)(2 Timothy 3:16,17) Brushing aside all extra-biblical creeds and supposed denominational and sectarian religious authority, we continue steadfastly strictly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, the breaking of bread, and in prayer. (Acts 2:42) Our congregation in northwest Houston maintains a stalwart dedication to just “preach the word” and pattern ourselves after the original church that Jesus established almost 2000 years ago. (2 Timothy 1:13)(Hebrews 8:5) As such, we are but one congregation among many others on earth, referring to ourselves by the many scriptural names given for the church, one of which is “the churches of Christ.” (Romans 16:16) As one autonomous congregation of these collective congregations, we use the New Testament model for organizing the local church and its operations.
Though Jesus is the “Chief Shepherd” over the church (1 Peter 5:4), his apostles were inspired to include the ordaining of a plurality of congregational shepherds or elders in every localized church (physical assembly). (Titus 1:5)(Acts 14:23) We have been blessed over the years to have many men meet the doctrinal qualifications for this and agree to serve in this alternately-titled office of bishop in this capacity. (1 Timothy 3:1-7) Though all elders have authority to oversee the local “flock,” (Acts 20:17,28) they also serve under the authority of the scriptures, just as all other Christians do. (1 Timothy 5:19,20) The group of Christian men pictured below are currently overseeing our congregation in this important pastoral function.
Serving under and with the elders, qualified deacons have been chosen by the congregation to handle and spearhead particular ministries for which they have been given personal responsibility. (1 Timothy 3:7-13) We currently have 11 Christian men working to organize and follow through on these projects for the NW congregation.