Church Government

  • Written by John Fesko

Understanding the Office of Deacon

Often in the study of Scriptures we come to concepts and doctrines that many in the church believe arise de novo in the New Testament (NT).  One such teaching concerns the office of deacon.  Many read the book of Acts and see that deacons are for the first time appointed in chapter 6 and then of course they see Paul giving the qualifications for deacons in 1 Tim 3.8-13.  The assumption is that the office of deacon never existed prior to Acts chapter 6 and Paul’s explanation of the qualifications for office is unique to the NT.  Yet, as St. Augustine once explained, what is revealed in the NT is hidden in the Old, and what is hidden in the Old Testament (OT) is revealed in the New.  If Augustine’s little aphorism is true, then there is a case to be made that we can find the office of deacon in the OT.  Let us therefore turn to the OT so that we can see where the office of deacon begins, see how that office finds its fulfillment in Christ, and then, of course, see how these things come to bear upon those who hold the office of deacon.

Read more

  • Written by John Fesko

Building the Church: the Pastoral Intern

The idea of internships often brings up negative connotations—images of employees passing off their work load upon an unsuspecting intern so they can relax and take it easy.  Perhaps it conjures up ideas of making the intern perform menial tasks, such as retrieving dry cleaning and washing cars.  While there are certainly many who abuse internships, it is important that we understand why Geneva will have a pastoral intern this summer.  Far from promoting sloth, a pastoral internship plays an important part in building the Church.  Let us explore the importance of a pastoral internship by examining, the nature of the church, the importance of training pastors, and the need for church to work towards building the Church.

Read more

  • Written by John Fesko

The Importance of Church Membership

Why must a man and a woman make a vow to one another in a public wedding ceremony in order to be married? Why can't a couple pledge their love for each other in private? Are we indentured to a cultural tradition or is there a biblical principle at work?

Ultimately, what underlies the wedding ceremony is a promise or an oath that the betrothed make to one another. They both promise to love one another until death separates them. This oath is taken in the presence of God and the church to hold the couple accountable to their promises. But what does a marriage ceremony have to do with church membership?

Read more