Church oversight may be a foreign concept to many people. Especially to churches that have not been part of a denomination. We affirm that churches are independent and need to take responsibility for their own affairs. However, the biblical pattern is local churches receiving help from the outside. In regard to this, New Testament churches had two things in common. They related to other churches, and they had some level of apostolic input. For instance, the church in Corinth knew they could receive help from Paul. He had a voice within the church. At the same time, however, Paul recognized the church’s authority to make the final decision in the matters they were discussing. He could appeal to them as a respected voice. He couldn’t force them to do anything. This is how we view our relationship with local churches. We want our churches to view us as a respected voice. And we will use our voice, when necessary, to appeal. Ultimately, however, the local church is responsible for its own health.
Our churches are, in a very real sense, independent. This means Table Fellowship does not have legal authority over Table Fellowship churches. We cannot “make” Table Fellowship churches do anything. We do not hire pastors and we do not fire pastors. We do not own the property of Table Fellowship churches. We cannot decide what is preached on a particular Sunday. But we are far more than just spectators from afar.
It is critical church members know who the church is looking to in order to receive input and direction. We regularly help our churches through the most difficult seasons. It’s our pleasure to work for the health of Christ’s church.
We believe it’s good for pastors and for churches to have someone from the outside caring for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes and no. We have authority to the extent that our churches listen to and receive from our counsel. However, our churches truly are independent. Table Fellowship churches are responsible for themselves before the Lord. The letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 demonstrate the local authority of the churches. We respect this authority as biblical.
No. We do not own church buildings. The local churches have a responsibility for their land and buildings.
No. We can, however, remove a church from Table Fellowship.
No. We will, however, freely counsel our pastors and/or churches and we will help with the selection process as requested.
Other ways we help
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Table Fellowship is a group of churches and missionaries on a journey together. We have committed ourselves to follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the inerrancy of God’s word and in the life-giving power of his Holy Spirit. We are striving to be biblically healthy. That is why we provide care for pastors. We work with independent churches who desire oversight and pastoral care for their leaders.