Congregations in the Reformed Church in America are governed by Ministers, Elders, and Deacons acting together. This group is called a "Consistory." The Consistory is made up of church members, called by God and elected by the congregation and ordained to serve as Elders and Deacons. The Pastor is the President of the Consistory. One Elder is elected by the Consistory to serve as Vice President.
Ministers serve as pastors and teachers of local congregations. They lead the congregation in listening to the Holy Spirit's guidance for the life of the church, and putting that guidance into effect through preaching, teaching, pastoral ministries of calling and counseling, and administration. They don't work alone, however. They work side-by-side with Elders and Deacons.
Elders encourage the spiritual growth of the congregation by taking responsibility for worship, education, and the spiritual lives of all members of the congregation. They pray for the congregation and welcome new members. Elders, along with the pastor, are entrusted with the sacramental life of the church. They hold the pastor accountable to preaching God's Word.
Deacons are to practice ministries of mercy, service, and outreach. They are the eyes of the Consistory, looking beyond the congregation, to discern the needs of the community. They administer gifts that are given for the benefit of the poor, and visit and give comfort to congregational members who are in material need. Deacons are responsible for financial accountability and transparency with the body of the church.
The Deacons and Elders, with God's help, offer their time and talents to assist nine committees:
- Administration and Finance
- Christian Education
- Parish Life
Each committee consists of congregational volunteers committing their love and abilities to serve God's church and community.