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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 8 : The Elder

Paragraph 4 : Of Special Gifts and Callings

8-4. As the Lord has given different gifts to men and has committed to some special gifts and callings, the Church is authorized to call and appoint some to labor as teaching elders in such works as may be needful to the Church. When a teaching elder is called to such needful work, it shall be incumbent upon him to make full proof of his ministry by disseminating the Gospel for the edification of the Church. He shall make a report to the Presbytery at least once each year.

[Historical Summary : The current text dates to an addition enacted in 1986 (M11GA, 11-9, p. 66). This paragraph had previously been changed in 1980, substantially condensing the text from that of PCA 1973. The latter text was identical to the PCA exemplar of PCUS 1933 and to the Revised Edition of 1925, which in turn had only updated the spelling conventions from that of PCUS 1879.]

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1980 (M8GA, 8-88, p. 112)
As the Lord has given different gifts to men and has committed to some special gifts and callings, the Church is authorized to call and appoint some to labor as Teaching Elders.

1. PCA 1973, 8-3, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 131
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 8-3, Proposed text, p. 8
and
3. PCUS 1933, IX, § 35
4. PCUS 1925, IX, § 35
As the Lord has given different gifts to the Ministers of the Word, and has committed to them various works to execute, the Church is authorized to call and appoint them to labor as Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists, and in such other works as may be needful to the Church, according to the gifts in which they excel.

PCUS 1879, IV-2-3

As the Lord has given different gifts to the Ministers of the word, and has committed to them various works to execute, the Church is authorized to call and appoint them to labour as Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists, and in such other works as may be needful to the Church, according to the gifts in which they excel.

PCUS 1869 draft, IV-2-4

As the Lord has given different gifts to the Ministers of the Word, and hath committed to them various works to execute, the Church is authorized to call and appoint them to the respective functions of Pastors, Doctor and Evangelist, and to such other works as may be needful to the Church, according to the gifts in which they excel.

PCUS 1867 draft, IV-2-4
As the Lord hath given different gifts to the ministers of the word, and hath committed to them various works to execute, the church is authorized to call and appoint them to the respective functions of pastors, doctor and evangelist, according to the gifts in which they do most excel, or according to its own necessities.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 49), on IV-2-3 :
37.--III. As the Lord has given different gifts to the Ministers of the word, and has committed to them various works to execute, the Church is authorized to call and appoint them to labour as Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists, and in such other works as may be needful to the Church, according to the gifts in which they excel.
Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists are different classes of Ministers, but Ministers engaged in more or less different functions of the one Ministry of the Word; and this is equally true of Ministers engaged in other special work, provided only it is work of the Ministry of the Word.



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]