Becoming a Missional Denomination. The Bible doesn't have a lot of detail on exactly how to organize a church, but it does reveal some significant principles to guide us. Churches formed by the apostles were governed by a body of elders (not just one elder) under the authority of Jesus Christ and his Word. In the New Testament, "church" refers to a local congregation, but also to a larger church in a region and to the universal church. Because of these biblical principles, the EPC is Presbyterian in government. That means we are governed by elders, not bishops. It means we are "connectional." Churches in a region gather in presbyteries and all the churches gather in a General Assembly. They gather not just as an association, but as an expression of the unity of the larger church in relationships of encouragement, equipping, and accountability.
The Office of the General Assembly sees its mission as "leaders serving leaders in the presbyteries and churches of the EPC." That mission expresses our desire to become a missional denomination - one that believes the location of ministry is the local church; that is made up of local congregations committed to be missional; and that constantly re-examines itself as to whether or not its polity, structures and programs are serving or inhibiting a missional mindset.
The EPC is committed to be faithful to its roots, being Reformed in doctrine, evangelical in spirit, and Presbyterian in government. At the same time, it is not "business as usual." We are on a journey of discovery - to find what forms and structures a missional Presbyterian denomination will have in the twenty-first century.