Here's an issue that I would like to get some thoughts about at a very practical level. I pastor a smaller single-elder/deacon type church (175 years old, independent Baptist). We are making some significant strides (in my opinion) in moving towards a more biblically centered position in a variety of areas (music, Bible versions, depth of discipleship, small group discipleship, etc). One of the areas we are working through is the relationship between the Pastor, deacons, and trustees on a practical "whose head is on the chopping block in that situation" type level. I have 2-3 deacons at a time, and the constitution tends to blend together what I would see as the role of the elders and deacons. But because this church has always been a single-elder model, the deacons have been kind of the "checks and balances." Throw in the Trustees, and there's some confusion. The Trustees are primarily groundskeepers, though they do play a role in the annual budget process. So, take away facility upkeep from the equation. What do your churches do to practically distinguish between the roles of pastors/elders and deacons? Long-term, I would like our church to be elder-led, but we are a long way from that day. I love 9Marks and their books/articles on the subject, but I am looking for some ideas on how churches actually implement those suggestions and roles. What has to get "bounced off the deacons" before the pastor does it? What areas would be the exclusive realm of the deacons? (In other words, if I wasn't at a deacons' meeting, what areas could they cover without me being there?). I could keep going on, but hopefully you get the point. I would love to get some practical ideas on how your churches have effectively balanced these roles.