The word "Independent" means that the church is not a member of any council, convention or is a part of a national organization that would exercise authority over the local church.. Thus, the name "independent" means that the church patterns itself after the New Testament example and stands alone under the authority of the Bible. They direct their own affairs under the authority of the New Testament Scriptures, free from the outside interference. The New Testament teaches that Christ is the head of the church,(Eph. 5:23) and the Chief Shepherd )1 Peter 5:4). The local pastor is the shepherd (Heb. 13:17, Acts 20:28, Eph. 4:11) or leader of the congregation. The Independent Baptist church has a congregational form of government with each member having the right of the vote and all the affairs of the churches are conducted by the local congregation following the guidelines of the New Testament.