In each congregation, the three offices of minister of Word and sacrament, elder, and deacon are brought together in the consistory.
As the liturgy states, by gathering the three offices, "the consistory continues the full ministry of Christ in our day."
This gathering of officers is the governing body of the local congregation and is chosen periodically from the membership of the congregation.
It is responsible for all the spiritual and practical day-to-day affairs of the church.
The minister is always the president of the consistory. While it usually meets together, the consistory is divided into two orders. One order is that of the elders. ELDERS are responsible for sound teaching and discipline within the church and for the spiritual well being of the congregation. The elders are to make sure that members are nurtured through Scripture, worship, the sacraments, and prayer.
The other order in the consistory is that of the deacons. DEACONS play a key role in moving their churches into missions of justice, mercy, and compassion. They focus on six key areas of concern:
- Stewardship, education, & congregational giving
- Special individual and family concerns
- Mission involvement
- Disaster response and volunteer service
- Hunger advocacy and Reformed Church World Svc
- Caring for creation and simple living
Please read 1 Timothy 3 for further instruction on these offices.