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We believe that Jesus Christ provides for the health and expansion of His Church through the equipping gifts and roles He imparted unto it at His ascension.  Ephesians 4:11-13 says that, "Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."

It is God's design that each of these gifts work together and not apart from one another, to expand the Kingdom of God and build up the Church to completeness and maturity.  With this in mind, the leadership of Graceway functions as a united team, giving weight to one another's area of gifting and ability.

Graceway is led by a collective of elders, dedicated to Christ, one another, and the Church.

What is an elder led church?

Put most simply, an elder led church is a church led according to the model displayed in the New Testament.  Elders (also referred to as overseers) were appointed in the towns and homes where the Christians gathered to meet and worship.  These elders were charged with caring for the well-being of the church,  God's family.  The character of elders is to be an example of Christ, one that is worthy of being followed by all believers; and elders are intended to serve alongside one another to safeguard, carry the load , and hold one another accountable.  

In many places today, churches do not look like they did in the New Testament, and that's perfectly fine!  As long as the Spirit, the heart and the direction remain the same. 

What is the purpose of the five gifts listed in Ephesians 4?

Just as the Church is called to be in unity with one another, so is the leadership of the Church.  No one man or woman has everything that the Church needs to be whole and complete, and growing in depth as well as reach.  The five leadership gifts, also known as equipping gifts, that Jesus gave to His Church are apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching.  While this is sometimes not given much attention, every one of these is crucial to the Body of Christ.  We provide a brief description of each leadership gift/role here, and you can also go here to take a deeper dive into this topic.

Apostle: someone who is sent out by God to proclaim His message in a specific place, often new unreached areas.  This is an entrepreneurial and  parenting role in the Church, which breeds expansion.

Prophet: someone who helps keep focus on the heart of God, strong in discernment, and offers a constant call to God's people to the narrow way.

Evangelist: someone who tells the stories of Jesus' goodness and fame in a manner that inspires and transforms the hearers.

Shepherd: someone who creates a safe and belonging atmosphere and guides people from brokenness to wholeness and healing.

Teacher: someone who is able to make the truth of God and His Word accessible to all by communicating in a way it can be thoroughly grasped.

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