E. The Officers of the Church–Pastors and deacons are the permanent officers divinely ordained in a New Testament church (Phil.1:1). Each church may select men of her choice to fill those offices under the leading of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:1-6; 20:17, 18) according to the divinely given qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-13).
Pastors (elders, bishops) are authorized to oversee and teach the churches under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28; Heb 13:7, 17, 24; I Peter 5:1-4). Each church is responsible to follow them as they follow Christ (I Cor. 11:1; I Thess. 1:6; Heb. 13:17) and to provide a livelihood for them that they might fulfill their ministries (I Tim 5:17, 18; Phil. 4:15-18). Pastors are equal in the service of God (Matt. 23:8-12).
Deacons (ministers, servants) are servants of the churches and assistants to the pastors, particularly in benevolent ministries. Each church may select her own deacons according to her needs, and no church is bound by the act of another church in that selection (Acts 6:1-6).
[On April 26, 2006 the BMA of America adopted the following resolution, included here for clarification:
Whereas the Doctrinal Statement of the BMA of America, Section X, Item E, implies that the offices of ordained Pastor and Deacon are limited to men only and the majority of churches agree with that position, be it resolved that the messengers of the BMA of America, meeting in Mobile, Alabama April 24-26, 2006, declare that the proper, biblical, and intended interpretation of Section X, Item E, is that the offices of Pastor and Deacon are limited to men only.]
F. The Ministry of the Church–Her mission is evangelizing sinners by preaching the gospel (Matt. 28:19; Luke 24:45-47), baptizing those who believe (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 35-38), and maturing them by instruction (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42) and discipline (Matt. 18:17, 18; I Cor. 5:1-5).
G. The Fellowship of the Church–She is free to associate with true churches in furthering the faith (II Cor. 11:8; Phil 4:10, 15, 16) but is responsible to keep herself from those who hold doctrines or practices contrary to Holy Scripture (Gal. 1:8, 9; I John 2:19). In association with other churches, each church is equal and is the sole judge of the measure and method of her cooperation (Matt. 20:25-28). In all matters of polity and practice, the will of each church is final (Matt. 18:18).