For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20
God's Word and Governing Documents
Fundamentally, Arlington Baptist Church is governed by God’s Word. We believe that God’s Word (the Bible) is, as our Statement of Faith says, “the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.” While we are fundamentally governed by the Bible, we are also governed by other documents. We recognize that these documents are not on equal footing with the Bible; that is, they do not have the same authority in our corporate life that the Bible does. Nonetheless, we do think that they are important documents which serve important purposes.
The Bible teaches us doctrine, truths about God, and our Statement of Faith is a good summary of what we think the Bible teaches. The Bible also teaches us how we are to live, and our Church Covenant is a good summary of what the Bible teaches about what the life of a Christian should look like. The Bible also teaches us how the church is to be organized and governed, and much of our church constitution addresses the Bible’s teaching on that topic. More specifically, our church constitution outlines some of the necessary and practical operations of our church. Our constitution details the principles, offices, and procedures of the church.
Elder-led, Deacon-Served, Officer and Staff-Supported, Congregation-Governed
Arlington Baptist Church is led by a team of elders elected by the congregation who fulfill the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:6–9. They are responsible for shepherding the church and are elected for a 3 year term, at which point they may be reaffirmed. Even though the elders are charged with the shepherding of the church, the final authority of the church resides with the congregation. We also have deacons, officers, and administrative staff who support the pastors by serving the church.