The Scriptures

We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments to be the full record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. Different men, while writing according to their own styles and personalities, were supernaturally moved along by the Holy Spirit to record God’s very words, inerrant in the original writings. Therefore, those applying themselves to study its literal, historical-grammatical context can accurately understand God’s Word. Scripture is fully trustworthy as our final and sufficient authority for all of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

The Triune God

We believe in the one living and true God, eternally existing in perfect unity as three equally and fully divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each member of the Godhead, while executing distinct but complementary roles in redemptive history, has precisely the same nature, attributes, and being, and is equally worthy of the same glory and honor and obedience (Matthew 28:19-20; Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17; Jude 20-21; Deuteronomy 6:4; Romans 3:30; John 1:1-4; 17:5; Acts 5:3-4).

God the Father

We believe God the Father created all things in six days for His glory according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ. He justly, powerfully, directly, and lovingly deals with all He has made, exercising sovereign headship over all creation, providence, and redemption (Revelation 4:11; Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:2-3; Genesis 1:1-2:3, Exodus 20:11, 31:17; John 1:3; Matthew 10:28-31).

God the Son

We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, moved by love in accordance with the will of the Father, took on human flesh. Conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary. He, being fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life and sacrificially shed His blood and died on the cross in our place accomplishing redemption for all who place their faith in Him. He arose visibly and bodily from the dead three days later and ascended into heaven, where, at the Father’s right hand, He is now Head of His Body the Church, the only Savior and Mediator between God and man, and will return to earth in power and glory to consummate His redemptive mission (Matthew 1:20; 28:5-10; Luke 1:31-35; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Timothy 2:5-6, 3:16; John 1:1, 14, 18, 14:6-11, 15:9, 12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:2; Luke 24:50-51, Colossians 1:18; Acts 1:10-11, 2:33; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-5:3).

God the Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. At salvation, He imparts new spiritual life to the believer, bringing that person into union with Christ and the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies, seals, fills, guides, instructs, comforts, equips, empowers, intercedes, permanently indwells at salvation, and bestows spiritual gifts to the believer for Christ-like living and service (John 14:15-25, 16:7-15; Titus 3:5-6; Ephesians 2:18-22; 4:30; Romans 8:1-27; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:3-11; Galatians 5:16-26; Hebrews 2:1-4; Acts 1:8, 9:31).


We believe that God created mankind—male and female—in His own image and likeness, free of sin, to glorify Himself and enjoy His fellowship. Tempted by Satan, but in the sovereign plan of God, man freely chose to disobey God, bringing sin, death and condemnation to all mankind. All human beings, therefore, are totally depraved by nature and by choice. Alienated from God without defense or excuse, and subject to God’s righteous wrath, all of mankind is in desperate need of the Savior (Genesis 1:26-31, 3:1-6; Ecclesiastes 7:29; John 3:36; Romans 1:18-20, 32, 3:10-19, 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Revelation 13:8).

Marriage and Sexuality

We believe that marriage is the joining of one naturally-born man and one naturally-born woman for life. Marriage was created by God and is a holy and divinely established covenant between man and woman to be a representation of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church. We believe that God created sexual intimacy to be enjoyed exclusively between one man and one woman who are married to one another. We believe that any form of deviation from this—such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, pornography, prostitution, pedophilia, premarital sexual intimacy, cross dressing, sexting, any wrongful attempt to change one’s gender, or disagreement with one’s biological gender—is sinful and offensive to God. We also believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24, 19:5, 13, 26:8-10; Leviticus 18:1-30; Matthew 15:19, 19:3-9; Mark 10:7-9; Romans 1:18-32, 7:2; 1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 6:9-20, 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4; 1 John 1:9).


We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ. Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places his/her faith in Christ alone by grace
alone. At salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever. Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end (1 Corinthians 12:13, 15:3; Isaiah 53:4-10; Acts 4:12, 26:16-18; Romans 1:18, 3:21-26, 8:29-30, 8:37-39; Ephesians 1:5, 2:8-9; 1 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 3:14, 7:27; 2 Timothy 1:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21; Titus 3:5; John 14:15; James 2:14-26).

The Church

We believe that upon placing one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, the believer is made part of the Body of Christ, the one universal Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head. The Scriptures command believers to gather locally in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, fellowship, the ordinances of baptism and communion, service to the local body through the development and use of talents and spiritual gifts, and outreach to the world to make disciples. Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church under the watchful care of a plurality of elders. A church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:15-16; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, 12:12-13, 14:26; Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 2:42-46, 14:23; Titus 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Matthew 28:18-20).

Baptism and Communion/The Lord’s Supper

We believe that Christian baptism is a public declaration of the believer’s salvation in Christ, identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection symbolized by immersion in water. The Lord’s Supper is the united commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self- examination (Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).


We believe it is the aim, duty, and privilege of every believer and local church fellowship to glorify God by responding as active participants in the Great Commission call of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 1:5; Acts 15:40-16:5).

Things to Come

We believe in and expectantly await the glorious, visible, personal, return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The blessed hope of His return has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell. The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-21:8).




Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world. We believe the primary focus and priority of this call is centered on efforts that establish, strengthen, and reproduce biblically- based churches, which will then plant churches that plant churches for future generations and God’s glory (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 14:21-23; Titus 1:5).

Assimilation and Church Membership

We believe in the importance of serving the body of Christ by offering clear paths for people to start and develop healthy and growing relationships with others in the church body. We value an intentional plan to help every person enjoy godly relationships in the church. Church membership is an important part of growing in Christ, relationships of mutual ministry in the body, and serving the Lord by using gifts to serve others in the local church (Hebrews 3:12-13; 1 Peter 4:8-11).

Baptism and Communion

Baptism and communion are the two ordinances required in the church. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only. Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become new creations in Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41, 16:14-15, 31-33, 18:8; Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-6).

Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is the commemoration, solely by believers of Christ’s death, and a reminder—through the bread and the cup—of the Savior’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of confession of our sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination according to 1 Corinthians 11:20-29.

Charismatic Movement

Crossway Bible Church is a non-charismatic, conservative, evangelical fellowship that welcomes all who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and all who are seeking Him. Those who claim to possess the gift of tongues and other sign gifts are welcome to worship and fellowship with us if they are willing to be a source of unity rather than division within our church body. We believe that the Christian life is supernatural and that the Lord continues to perform miracles. We also believe that current displays of the gift of tongues may distract from the main task of the local church, which is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

Current displays of the gift of tongues may:

    • Give unwarranted prominence to the gift, which is described in the New Testament as being only one of many spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12).

    • Emphasize speaking in tongues as the primary manifestation of the Spirit’s work in a person’s life, while minimizing the Spirit’s work in producing a holy life, and a life that displays the fruits of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 2 Timothy 1:9; Galatians 5:22-23).

    • Often suggest that speaking in tongues is a required proof of being Spirit-filled or of possessing salvation in Christ, even though the Scriptures do not teach this.

Crossway Bible Church seeks to prevent the propagation of doctrines that would cause divisions within an individual church. Therefore, members of and adherents of Crossway Bible Church are not to propagate the teachings and emphases of the charismatic movement. Although we do not control personal, individual interactions with the Lord, the expression of tongues and other sign gifts are not overtly expressed at meetings that are under the organization and authority of Crossway Bible Church.

Church Planting

The church exists to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission, and in the spirit of the Greatest Commandments (Matthew 22:37-40, 28:19-20).

The Great Commission is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made and grow in their relationship with Him and likeness to Him. God is glorified as we manifest His presence as we do His work (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Acts 1:8).

In seeking to act upon the church’s purpose, we recognize the extraordinary value in multiplying the reach of His ministry by planting local churches and by associating with existing, like-minded local churches. God is glorified when Crossway Bible Church and other like-minded churches associate with one another in order to foster relationships that edify, protect, encourage, support, and admonish.

Crossway Bible Church, in cooperation with the Great Commission Collective, supports affiliated churches and resources church planting efforts. In this way we assist affiliate churches to more effectively spread the Word of God and the ways of God in order to build His kingdom. We desire to bless affiliate churches through provision of pulpit ministry, consulting services, research, conferences, and seed money devoted to church planting and pastoral education programs.

Counseling Philosophy

The Lord changes lives and accomplishes His purposes directly through reading and applying the Scriptures, meditating on the truths of the Scriptures, and prayer. The Lord also uses those who minister His Word as they encourage, exhort, admonish, edify, implore, reprove, rebuke, and console others toward godliness. God needs no new or unique insight into the human condition in order to change lives, regardless of whether that insight is gained through psychology or some other tool of human origin. Problems that are approached by integrating the Scriptures with psychological theories can lead individuals into diminishing the God of the Scriptures and into believing that He has not provided and cannot provide sufficient truth, insight, and wisdom that will change their lives (Colossians 2:8-10).

We affirm the many benefits of medical professionals who study and treat the physical body, including the brain. Social sciences likewise have helpfully pointed to correlations or potential influences that can be examined in order to come to an accurate picture of all the many factors at play in a person’s life. When psychology and other social sciences step beyond observing human behavior in order to explain the root causes of human behavior, speak to the foundational problem humans face, or suggest the ultimate solution that is needed, they enter spiritual territory. Only the God of the Scriptures can explain such causes and offer solutions that lead to the obedience of godliness and a fruitful, joyful life of faith in Jesus. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. He changes us as we discipline ourselves through obedience to the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 1:3-11).

Each Christian’s passion should be to please God, become more like Christ, and fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord with the entire heart, soul, mind, and strength and likewise love one’s neighbor (2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2, Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37-40).

The Christian who learns and applies the Word becomes mature and, in turn, can help others mature (2 Timothy 2:2; Romans 15:14).

Creation, Evolution, and God’s Sovereignty

We believe God created the universe, speaking it into existence, in six twenty-four hour days and that before He created the universe, nothing except God existed (Genesis 1; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16).

God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11).

We deny the theory of Darwinian evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings. The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7, 21-22; Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, 15:21-22).

God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25-28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3, 13; Ephesians 4:6).

Eternal Security of the Believer

It is God’s divine decision to save a person and it is God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience that lead that person to repentance. All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone. We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion. This assurance relies on God’s decisive grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works, and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Romans 2:4, 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9, 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25; Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).

Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His son or daughter, His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit, and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven. A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession, and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands. Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession. This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God’s unlimited power (Galatians 4:4-7; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14; Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41, 16:30-34; John 10:27-29; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Peter 1:4-5).

What have often been referred to as the “doctrines of grace” serve as helpful categories to illustrate God’s sovereignty in and over the salvation of man—total depravity, unconditional election, limited (or particular) atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints.

The Family

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one naturally-born man and one naturally-born woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect and help her husband in their life together. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-25, 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalm 78:1-8, 127:1-5, 128:1-6, 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8, 5:15-20, 6:20-22, 12:4, 13:24, 14:1, 17:6, 18:22, 22:6, 15, 23:13-14, 24:3, 29:15, 17, 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, 9:9; Malachi 2:13-16; Matthew 5:31-32, 18:2-6, 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:22-33, 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8, 14; 2 Timothy 1:5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7).

Process of Sanctification and Maturity

Mature disciples, committed to a personal relationship with the Lord, worship Christ, walk with Christ, and work for Christ. Such a person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will become “mature in Christ.” We are committed to multiplying the godly characteristics of leaders’ lives into others. This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church. We believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church, rather than one or a small number of professional pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church (Colossians 1:28; 2 Timothy 2:2; Ephesians 4:11-12).

Spiritual Warfare

Satan and his demonic servants viciously oppose the work God performs in and through His people. God, who by His nature is infinitely more powerful than Satan, in due time will have complete and total victory over Satan (1 Peter 5:8; Genesis 3:1-7; Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 4:4).

Although it is appropriate to pray in Jesus’ name for protection against demonic activity, the Scriptures do not instruct the Christian to “bind Satan in Jesus’ name.” Rather, the Scriptures instruct the Christian to combat Satan by:

    • Humbly drawing near to God, knowing that He will give grace, mercy, and strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 4:8; 1 Peter 5:6-10).

    • Resisting Satan’s temptations (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).

    • Rightly applying the truth of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:24-27).

    • Forgiving offenses (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).

    • Putting on the armor of God’s truth, righteousness, readiness to share the Gospel, faith, salvation, and prayer (Ephesians 6:11-20).

    • Demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord by enduring trials (Revelation 2:10, 13, 3:9-10).

Things to Come

We hold to the visible, personal, and premillennial return of Christ and the subsequent imprisonment of Satan during Christ’s thousand-year earthly reign; such events mark the next stage of God’s victory over demonic enemies. The blessed hope of the Lord’s return has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell. The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:1-21:8).

Sufficiency of Scripture

We believe in the verbal, plenary (complete) inspiration of the Scriptures and that they contain all the words of God that we need in order to completely trust and obey Him. The Scriptures are inerrant in their original writings, and are infallible in their instruction, eternal in duration, the final authority and the standard for faith and practice, and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life. We believe that the very words of Scripture in the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic are inspired by God. Therefore, we believe that the Bible versions which translate God’s Word most literally into modern English should be preferred (Psalm 19:7-14, 119:1-176; Matthew 4:4, 5:18; John 5:46-47, 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19, 3:15-16; Proverbs 6:22-24; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25).

Women in Ministry

Crossway Bible Church affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men. We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scripture (1 Timothy 2:12, 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9).


The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God by loving Him with the entire heart, soul, mind, and might. All believing men, women, and children are to glorify God and thus fulfill the purpose of their existence. Worship glorifies God through adoration, praise, prayer, thanksgiving, and a complete yielding to Him. Worship declares His worth, pays Him homage, and celebrates Him in a life of devotion. We seek to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Exodus 15:1-21; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 5:7, 95:6, 99:5; Daniel 6:10-11; Nehemiah 12:46; Romans 12:1; John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11; 5:12).

Several tenets guide our worship. We seek to:

    • Lift high the name of Jesus Christ (John 4:22-26, 12:32, 14:6).
    • Lead God’s people to lift their hearts and voices to Him, giving Him praise and thanks in music and lyrics (Nehemiah 12:45-46; Psalm 66:1-4, 95:1-2).
    • Prepare hearts to hear the Lord speak through the proclamation of Scripture (Psalm 95:6-9; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42).
    • Emphasize fresh and contemporary expressions while retaining traditional elements that recognize the richness of our heritage in the faith (Deuteronomy 32:7; Psalm 33:3; Isaiah 46:8-9; Matthew 13:32, Ephesians 5:19; Revelation 5:9).
    • Pursue excellence in worship, knowing that God is worthy of our best (Exodus 12; Deuteronomy 17:1; Psalm 33:3; 1 Timothy 4:14-15; Hebrews 11:4).

Church Government

Crossway is committed to the Bible’s teaching that those who hold the offices of Elder and Deacon are to oversee various functions of the local church.

The Bible’s teaching on the subject of two church offices is found in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. Although there are four terms used for the offices of the church: pastor, overseer, elder, and deacon, analysis of these terms indicates that pastor, overseer, and elder are used interchangeably.

Elder Qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9)

    • Above reproach
    • Able to teach
    • Husband to one wife
    • Not addicted to wine
    • Temperate
    • Not antagonistic
    • Prudent
    • Uncontentious
    • Respectable
    • Free from the love of money
    • Hospitable
    • Manage own household
    • Not a new convert

Elder Duties

The Scriptures show that the elders serve by leading and that their responsibility involves the spiritual oversight of the congregation. All elders are equal in authority but not necessarily equal in influence.

The elders’ primary responsibilities include:

Doctrine – Ensuring that the doctrine of the church is biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders.
Direction – Ensuring that the direction of the church is consistent with the Crossway Bible Church statement of purpose and the Four Pillars.
Discipline – Administering in love and humility the process of church discipline.
(Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-4; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; 1 Timothy 5:17-25; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; Acts 20:28-31; Romans 16:17; 1 Peter 5:2).

Plurality of Elders

The Scriptures teach that a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches. The Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders, exercising their individual giftedness, squares with the Scripture’s teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counselors. This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the Elder Board (Acts 14:23, 20:28; Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1; Proverbs 11:14, 12:15, 15:22, 19:20, 24:6).

Senior Pastor

The Crossway Bible Church Senior Pastor automatically serves as an elder and, because of his public presence and responsibility before the congregation, may be considered first among equals as a member of the Elder Board. The Senior Pastor should be gifted primarily as a preacher/teacher and as a leader.


The Bible teaches that deacons lead by serving. The qualifications for elders and deacons overlap regarding an individual’s character, but they differ in aptitude. The elders are appointed to exercise oversight and are to be able to teach – while the deacons are to be able and proved as servants (Acts 6). Because of this distinction, we see the office of deacon as available to both men and women.

Deacon Qualifications (1 Timothy 3:8-12)

    • Individual of dignity
    • Above reproach
    • Not double tongued
    • First tested as servants
    • Not addicted to wine
    • Faithful in all things
    • Temperate
    • Not greedy for dishonest gain
    • Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
    • Devoted manager of the home