Our Leadership Structure

Cornerstone Church of Knoxville is an elder-governed and member-engaged congregation.

It is our view that Scripture teaches that elders are to lead, direct and manage the affairs of the church (Acts 20:17-38; 1 Thes 5:12-13; 1 Tim 3:1-7; 5:17; Titus 1:7-9; Heb 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-5) not for members to govern in a democratic fashion. Elders are to be chosen for ministry by elders and must meet the clear requirements found in Scripture (1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Elder duties include ruling and exercising oversight in the church (Acts 20:28, 1 Tim 5:17, 1 Tim 3:4-5; 1 Peter 5:2). 

Furthermore, we believe that a biblical model is one in which the elders lead (Rom 12:8) while they listen (Ex 18:24, Pr 12:15, 19:20). We see the importance of seeking counsel from the congregation in major decisions of the church (Pr 11:14, 15:22). Though the congregation may not have a vote, they do have a voice. A healthy local church is one in which the elders seek as much input as possible from the members in order to make wise decisions that are affirmed by the congregation.

Elders seek member engagement in several areas, including: 

  • pastoral transitions
  • major practice changes
  • doctrinal shifts
  • ordaining a new elder
  • financial outlays, building and land purchases
  • church planting