Other Churches in Atlantic Presbytery
The word “presbytery” is derived from the Greek work “elder” (“presbyter”) found in the New Testament, and refers to the form of local church government practiced in the early church, where each congregation chose several qualified men from their own number to lead the congregation.
Being part of a presbytery means that we can draw on the wisdom of other pastors and elders. The presbytery is composed of all pastors and elders from the churches within a certain geographical region. These pastors and elders guide the presbytery as they discuss and vote on various issues that emerge within the several congregations. The presbytery reports to a larger denominational body of elders called the synod. The synod addresses matters affecting the entire denomination.
The presbytery sends a visitation team to encourage and make suggestions for improvement to each congregation every ten years. When a congregation is without a pastor, the presbytery appoints a pastor or elder to be the provisional moderator who leads the congregational elders’ meetings (the session meetings). Each year, the presbytery oversees the work of individual sessions by reviewing minutes of session meetings and audit reports of the congregations’ finances. This allows each congregation to be accountable to the presbytery for its ministry.
The presbytery also oversees the pastors and the education and training of students who are interested in becoming pastors.