Who is supposed to guide local congregations?


I am from a church of Christ that is normally referred to as one cup, no Sunday school, no divorce and remarriage, etc.

My question is this:  If there are no positions of pastors nowadays, who is supposed to guide the local congregation?  Who can we go to in the time of struggle, problems, issues, questions, if no man steps up to be an elder or whatever the positions should be called?

I know to pray.  I know to ask my husband, but he knows nothing about the Scriptures except what he had heard.  Certainly, nothing he has studied on his own.  He doesn't do that.

I respectfully submit that even married women need someone to ask questions of, get help from in a time of need.  I would carefully consider the counseling of a married elder and would not consent to counsel without his wife present.   I know the implications of that and it just shouldn't be done.

Who then shepherds the congregation?  We have some men in the local body who preach sometimes.  We have visiting preachers.  But help! I do not want to lead myself astray and continue to study by myself. I don't stand a chance!

Please offer me some guidance.   Thank you.


"And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Regarding elders and their duties, see Vacant Chairs. Every congregation doesn't have men qualified to be elders but no congregation with qualified men should be avoiding having men serve as elders.

Regarding limiting the Lord's Supper to one physical container, see Shouldn’t the Lord’s Supper only use one cup?

Regarding Bible classes, see Is there authority for Bible classes segregated by ages?

I doubt you will convince the congregation you are attending to get closer to what the Bible actually teaches. Thus, you'll have to consider attending a different congregation. See Congregations of the Churches of Christ.

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