We believe that ministers of Godís Word, elders, and deacons ought to be chosen to their offices by lawful election of the church, with prayer and in good order, as stipulated by the Word of God.1 Therefore everyone shall take care not to intrude by improper means. He shall wait for the time that he is called by God so that he may have sure testimony and thus be certain that his call comes from the Lord.2 Ministers of the Word, in whatever place they are, have equal power and authority, for they are all servants of Jesus Christ,3 the only universal Bishop and the only Head of the church.4 In order that this holy ordinance of God may not be violated or rejected, we declare that everyone must hold the ministers of the Word and the elders of the church in special esteem because of their work,5 and as much as possible be at peace with them without grumbling or arguing.

1Acts 1:23-24, 6:2-3 2Acts 13:2; 1 Cor 12:28; 1 Tim 4:14, 5:22; Heb 5:4 3 2 Cor 5:20; 1 Pt 5:1-4 4Mt 23:8, 10; Eph 1:22, 5:23 5 1 Thes 5:12-13; 1 Tim 5:17; Heb 13:17