We believe that Christ rules his church directly by his word and Spirit but also through the ministry of men called to serve in his name.
A Presbyterian church is a church that is ruled by elders, who are called by Christ to serve in His name. Paul writes to Titus, “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you” (Titus 1:5).
We distinguish between two kinds of elders. There are those who are called to preach and teach full-time. These are designated as teaching elders or pastors. They are helped by other men who serve as ruling elders. (See 1 Timothy 5:17). In Presbyterian churches, the group of elders, called to lead a local church, is called “a session.”
True church leadership is servant leadership. Faithful church leaders seek only to declare what the word of God says and to encourage God’s people in the walk of faith. The Apostle Paul urges the elders of the church to “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
A more detailed statement about our form of government can be found at this link.