These Service Guidelines, which are Biblically based, describe some important characteristics of assemblies that qualify them for the services of Stewards Foundation. Obviously, no statement on paper can fully describe what distinguishes a scriptural assembly. However, we believe that these guidelines reflect the principles upon which Stewards Foundation was established, and describe what has been historically believed and practiced by those assemblies gathered unto the name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
Each assembly should be conducted and operated in accordance with New Testament principles of gathering, including, but not limited to the following:
- Recognizing and giving opportunity for the functioning of the priesthood of all believers with no clergy / laity distinction.
The assembly recognizes and gives opportunity for the development and the exercise of the spiritual gift of every believer (I Cor. 12:7; Eph. 4:12). The assembly does not have a one-man ministry, in substance or in name, by relegating to one man all, or nearly all, of the preaching and teaching responsibilities, thereby introducing an unscriptural clerical class threatening the practical recognition of the Headship of Christ. (Eph. 4:15, 16)
- Being committed to the principle of a plurality of leadership, demonstrated by a group of male elders with equal authority, who lead as shepherds under the Headship of Christ. (I Tim. 3:1 – 7; Titus 1:5 -9; Heb. 13:17).
- Being independent of any controlling organization or other affiliation, it is autonomous in its government, and in fellowship with other assemblies. (I Cor. 1:2)
- Remembering the Lord in a weekly observation of the Lord’s Supper, normally on Sunday.
This is to be the central meeting of the assembly (Acts 2:42), where those in fellowship are present. The Lord’s Supper is not a meeting simply added onto another service, but a time fully devoted to the remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 11:23-25). Male believers in the fellowship are encouraged to participate audibly, while female believers in fellowship are to take part silently, all under the direction of the Holy Spirit alone.
“Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the
Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain, in the Lord.” (I Cor. 15:58)