The consistory governs the life and ministry of a congregation. It is made up of those who hold three offices in the church: minister, elder, and deacon. The three offices within the consistory complement each other and are mutually supportive and mutually accountable.
A common misconception is that a congregation is built like a pyramid, with the minister at the top, the consistory next, and the congregation as a broad but somehow less-than-equal base. However, the structure of an RCA congregation is better represented as a circle that encompasses the whole congregation and the consistory, including the pastor(s). The whole circle stands together under the wisdom and guidance of the Word of God. The same Word measures each and all of us.