Jesus is referred to as the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:14–16; cf. Psalm 23:1–6), the “Great Shepherd” (Hebrews 13:20–21), and the “Chief Shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4). Jesus tells us, “I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15). This is what Jesus meant when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep . . . If anyone enters by me, he will be saved” (John 10:7–9).
Our risen Lord Jesus has given us shepherds and teachers “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11–12). The word “pastor” comes from the Greek word in the Bible meaning “shepherd” because pastors are called by God to care for the people of God in the same way that a shepherd cares for his sheep (Ezekiel 34:1–31). In other words, Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and Overseer of the flock, his church (1 Peter 2:25; 5:4), yet he has given us ‘undershepherds’ as gifts to know, lead, feed, and protect the church (1 Peter 5:1–4). These pastors are the men Eastside has recognised as elders. We understand the Scriptures to use four different words to refer to the same office in the local church: pastors or shepherds (Ephesians 4:11), elders (Acts 20:17; 1 Peter 5:1; Titus 1:5), and overseers (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:7). Furthermore because we understand the Bible to teach that pastoral leadership in the local church is not to be restricted to one man, we believe in a plurality of pastors. The practical benefits of eldership plurality include biblical accountability, the balance of spiritual gifts, burden sharing, and a better picture of the church.
At Eastside you will typically hear us refer to our paid elders/pastors as “Pastors” and our unpaid elders/pastors as “Lay Elders” or simply “Elders”. This is not a title of rank, but to communicate who, within the eldership, is also a part of our staff team, and their position and responsibilities within the eldership and staff team.
To learn more about the office of eldership we encourage you to read the book Church Elders – How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus by Jeramie Rinne.
Deacons, Interns, Staff & Support Workers
“It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:2–4
At Eastside, we have a team of deacons/deaconesses, staff members, support workers, and interns to assist our elders and serve the congregation in the day-to-day running of our local church by providing administration and ministry support.
To learn more about the biblical role of a deacon and how they serve the church you can read the article The Biblical Qualifications and Responsibilities of Deacons by Benjamin Merkle. Or, read the book Deacons: How They Serve and Strengthen the Church by Matt Smethurst.
At Eastside we seek to build up the next generation of gospel workers to further God’s mission (Matthew 28:19-20). We hope to train future pastors, missionaries, ministry workers and church planters who will go out into the world and continue the work of making disciples. One way we do this is through internship opportunities. Internships give participants first-hand ministry experience as they study and/or work with the expectation that they are being prepared to one day serve in a ministry position, either at Eastside or abroad.
Staff and Support Workers
Our staff members and support workers provide skills in matters of administration or through supporting the elders with day-to-day ministry, pastoral care, discipleship and evangelism.
Deaconess of Finance + Church Treasurer
Ministry Support Worker + Deacon for Audio-Visual Ministry + Ministry Intern
Discipleship & Evangelism Support Worker
Pastoral Care & Discipleship Support Worker for Men
Deacon of Church Compliance