A Movement of Reformed
Churches in Canada
An Overview of the Polity
PLANT GROW FLOURISH
“To plant and grow expressions of the Body of Christ that produce flourishing disciples of Jesus.”
Living Stones has constituted itself into a three-tier structure in the service of our Lord and Saviour
The Congregation – is the grass root strength of Living Stones and exists as a local expression of fellowship of believers. Ordinarily, these expressions include the calling of a Pastor, the election of Ruling Elders along with the membership of individuals and families as both covenant partners and non-covenant partners. However, we do recognize that there may be other expressions of fellowships that deviate from the above description, who no less are committed to upholding the word of life in their respective context, and whose local structure may differ, while still maintaining both the Essential Tenants and Constitution of Living Stones to fulfill Christ’s mission in the world.
Normally, a congregation would be provided leadership through a Council of Elders (COE), comprised of men and women serving together as ruling Elders and as pastor, and in some cases, also with an Associate Pastor. Where this structure is not possible, either due to context (i.e. house church, senior’s home, remote areas, etc.), then an approved alternative structure may be used. Approval is overseen by the Regional Elders (RE), in which the fellowship is associated.
All congregations associated with Living Stones do so to enhance Christ’s mission summarized in “PLANT…GROW…FLOURISH…” Ownership of land and buildings resides with the local congregation, as well as any other assets acquired by the congregation.
Regional Elders (RE) – exist to provide support, fellowship, and oversight to all expressions of fellowship (congregations) within its geographical bounds, or whatever defining boundaries have been established (i.e. cultural, etc.). The RE’s main purpose is to equip all expressions of fellowship to grow spiritually so as to make disciples who make disciples in advancing God’s kingdom. The RE exercises this oversight by guarding against any and all aberration of theology that may seek to alter the Essential Tenants or stand in opposition to Living Stones’ Constitution.
National Engagement Conference (NEC) – is the fellowship of all members of RE’s and of any member associated with Living Stones, once a year. Though it may be necessary to conduct some ecclesiastical business, its primary purpose is to network, encourage, educate, edify, empower, mentor, ensure accountability, and engage in collective mission work for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
2. Fellowship and Peer Accountability
Fellowship for encouragement, edification, mentoring, learning and accountability is vital to a healthy church. Having said that, we recognize as Living Stones makes a beginning our numbers will not require all the various levels of fellowship groups spoken of in our polity. Therefore, our beginnings may be modest in numbers and subsequently what is intended by the various groups listed below may be better served initially, by the first Mission Affinity Group. As God’s blessing enables growth, other groups may be added as needed to best serve the whole body for the glory of God.