So You Want to be a Churchman?

by Zachary Groff | November 8, 2021

The worship service which included your ordination to sacred office has just concluded. When the fathers and brothers lift their hands off your shoulders, the benediction rolls down from the pulpit, and the coffee begins to pour in the fellowship hall, a sobering thought dawns on you. What may seem to be the crowning ceremony of a long vetting process is actually the start of something altogether new and weighty.

You are now an officer in the Kingdom of heaven, a shepherd called to tend to Christ’s precious sheep, an elder in the Church of God. And you have a lot of learning to do.

So you want to be a churchman? That’s very good, and that’s why this site exists. Our mission is to serve the Presbyterian Church in America’s Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders by curating easily navigable resources on the nature, procedures, and history of our denominational polity. You want to be a churchman: a competent, godly, effective, pious, warm-hearted, grave, faithful, informed, and conscientious churchman. We want to help.

Over the past several years, interest in the biblical rationale, organizational procedures, and growing historical record of the Presbyterian Church in America’s governance has spiked. Many new and veteran elders are eager to engage with the work of the Church beyond the congregational level (i.e., in presbyteries and the General Assembly). The mission of Presbyterian Polity is to serve Christ’s undershepherds in the PCA by gathering, producing, and publishing informative and instructional resources concerning our ecclesiastical government.

Is Presbyterian Polity for you? If at least one of the following statements describes you, then the answer is emphatically yes.

You are a brand new elder in the PCA.

You are a veteran elder in the PCA.

You desire to be more actively and competently involved in the courts of the PCA (sessions, presbyteries, and General Assembly).

You are interested in – and perhaps, a little overwhelmed by – the organizational machinery and parliamentary procedures of the PCA.

You love Christ and His Church, and you have vowed to seek after the purity and peace of that visible expression of His Church known as the PCA.

If you have been in the PCA for any length of time, you know that there is a surprising diversity of theological viewpoints, concerns, and cultures within our bounds. The idea for this website was conceived in the summer of 2021 by a small group of PCA Elders passionate about doing all things “decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40) to the glory of God. In that spirit, the editors of this site will feature content prepared from a confessional Presbyterian perspective. The editors of this site love the historic polity of the Presbyterian Church in America, and we pledge to honor God as we seek to apply His Word to every aspect of church life.

Thank you for visiting this site. We hope that you find something of worth here, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. Be sure to read the next post, which outlines the inaugural lay-out and presentation of

Zachary Groff is a PCA Teaching Elder serving as Pastor of Antioch Presbyterian Church in Woodruff, SC.

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