The Ecclesiastical Structure
The ecclesiastical structure will consist of the Senior Pastor, Pastoral Staff, Deacon’s Board, Men’s Department, Women’s Department, and Members.
THE SENIOR PASTOR
The senior pastor is the spiritual leader of the church. He is an advisor to the Board of Trustees who allocates spending of all funds of the ministry. He serves as the chief executive of all matters of the ministry. He will ensure every member of the ministry is treated with dignity and respect. The senior pastor will appoint faithful and obedient Ministers (both Male and Female), Deacons, Auxiliary Heads, and all other leaders that may be needed in the ministry. At the best of his ability, he will ensure those selected are spiritually mature and that their desire is to serve the members of Agape. If the senior pastor cannot function, with the assistance of the pastoral staff, the first lady will function in his absence.
THE PASTORAL STAFF
The pastoral staff consists of the associate, executive, and youth pastors. They all have their area of ministry to assist the senior pastor in caring for the flock. Within these areas, the work of the Lord is encompassed. The associate pastor maintains all the auxiliaries of ministry to ensure they are well trained and equipped to minister to the people. The executive pastor is responsible for the business aspect of the ministry. He also has a few auxiliaries to assist him in ministry. The youth pastor cares for every aspect of the youth department. Along with his staff, they ensure the young people have a complete ministry to the young people.
THE DEACON'S BOARD
The Deacons Board will consist of faithful men who are appointed by the senior pastor to serve in functions as may be deemed appropriate to assist the senior pastor in caring for the flock. They will ensure the upkeep and maintenance of the church and the safety of each person that comes to the ministry. They will act as liaison between the senior pastor and each family. Most importantly, they will be the prayer warriors of the ministry.
The Ordinances of the Church
As a fundamental Christian ministry, Agape upholds the three orthodox ordinances of our Christian faith: The Lord’s Supper, Feet Washing, and Water Baptism. These ordinances or Christ institutionalized traditions express our Christian faith and allegiance to Christ. We believe that Christ gave these examples for our faith and practices, therefore we continue in His example by recognizing and celebrating the following traditions:
THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 11:23-34). These scriptures give the foundation for partaking in what is called the “Lord’s Supper,” or “Last Supper.” It directs our heart in sharing in the death of our Savour. As we celebrate in His death, we symbolically take part in the sufferings Jesus endured for the sins of the world, so that we would have a way back to the Father. Likewise, His blood was shed, as a means for us to be cleansed from our sins. We display an act of faith as believers when we “remember,” His Supper. The Apostle Paul reminded the Christians of Corinth, “as often as you do this.” This is the position Agape will practice—as often. The Lord’s Supper is not celebrated every first Sunday. We do celebrate as the Pastor feels lead by the Lord to do so. This will help each of us to be in the spirit of oneness that this ordinance brings, making us one in Him.
Feet Washing (John 13:1-17). In His last days with the disciples, Jesus taught them many things that brought them closer together. One of which was the humility of washing each other’s feet. We too enjoy the same results when we participate in this ordinance. It is an act of humility and oneness. It takes away all selfish motives and calls for true love. Christ’s example demonstrates from the greatest to the least, humility is always warranted. Again, Agape will participate in Feet Washing as directed by the Pastor. It will be on an occasion that will symbolize our unity and brotherhood. The Pastor will start by washing the men’s feet and the women will do likewise.
Water Baptism (Matthew 28:16-17; Romans 6:1-7). Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he gave instructions to the Disciples concerning Water Baptism. Although, Water Baptism was not new to the Children of Israel, it would now have a different meaning. Instead of cleansing, it would become a means whereby “believers” identify with the resurrection of their Savior. We at Agape follow the method taken from Matthew 28:16-17, coming from Christ to His disciples, as the means of performing this ordinance. We recognize it to be an act, which is preceded by confession and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally, we follow the fundamental belief of immersion as the means of baptizing. We will not immerse children unless they have confessed a life in Christ and are old enough to understand its meaning. We leave the ultimate decision upon the parents to explain to their children the seriousness of this and all ordinances performed at Agape.