The word Presbyterian comes from the ancient Greek word, Prebuteros, which quite literally means "old one." That's not to say all Presbyterians are old, but that the form of government the Church follows is based on the leadership of "elders", that is, those men and women who have been equipped by God for special service.
This form of Church leadership traces its roots back to the early Church and is an especially vivid model of the Scripture's teaching of "one body made up of many parts" (1 Corinthians 12). We believe that just as there are may parts making up the human body, and that each of these parts are indispensable for the healthy functioning of the body, so too in the Church, God calls all peple to service and bestows different gifts on each person for the good of the whole.
Those called to service as Ministers, Elders, and Deacons, are elected by the congregation and exercise a model of servant leadership, following the servant leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who said, ". . . the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).
In addition to its form of leadership, being Presbyterian also encompasses a particular theological outlook. Presbyterian are considered "Reformed" Christians, which means that we identify with the affirmations of the Protestant Reformation. The focus of thse affirmations is the rediscovery of God's grace in Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures. the Protestant watchwords--grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, all to the glory of God alone--embody principles of understanding which continue to guide and motivate us in our life of faith.