Line: Avoiding Mistakes in Administering the Church

In God’s governmental arrangement the elders are responsible for the administration of a local church (Acts 14:23. Some have argued that with respect to its administration each local church is absolutely independent, or autonomous. The argument has even been made that the elders have unchallengeable authority over the affairs of their respective churches. These articles correct these claims, and the related claims that the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee supports the absolute autonomy of local churches and the unbounded authority of elders in them. In so doing, they present a biblical view of the proper functioning of elders in a local church.


Recently the promotion of the independence, or autonomy, of a local church’s administration has reemerged. This mistaken concept is not new. For example, in the late 1980s some brothers pointed to earlier published … Continue reading No Thought of Independence in the Bible


Some have taught that any fellowship or intervention by the apostles or any fellowship of concern from other local churches is improper interference in a church’s local administration; this has no basis in … Continue reading Genuine Local Churches, Part 1 – Neither Autonomous nor Independent


Every truth in the Bible has two sides that must be held in balance. This fact reflects the natural law in God’s creation, as Brother Witness Lee explained: According to the natural law … Continue reading A Balanced View of the Elders’ Authority


From time to time those who bear responsibility in the administration of a church must exercise a measure of discipline toward unruly members. The exercise of discipline takes as its goals restoring the … Continue reading Properly Representing the Lord in the Exercise of Discipline


The elders in a local church must deal with all kinds of issues, including complicated situations involving the saints. A great temptation the elders face is becoming entangled in determinations of right and … Continue reading The Elders Avoiding Entanglement in Right and Wrong