Elders in the Life of the Church is a wonderful resource, especially for churches who are transitioning away from traditional church government to a more biblically-based form of government. The reason why this book is written is because too many specifically Baptist churches are being run in the ground due to a lack of leadership.
The authors have been through the transition and have lived to tell about it. This book is both theological and practical. The authors cover the theology (who & why) of elder leaders who serve and guard the position of pastor through accountability and sharpening. There is no way after reading this text, that you won’t clearly know the distinct qualifications of elders. The practical side (what and how) of this text clearly shows the elder’s role in action.
Many churches shy away from an elder-led style because they are afraid of individual leaders. However, elders are not individual leaders, they are a body who wants and does what is best and biblical for the congregation. If an elder is out of line and uses the position for a struggle of power, he isn’t qualified to begin with. The distinct qualifications for elder protect the position very clearly.
This book seemed to be targeted at Baptist churches and there is reason for that. Many baptist churches are led through a deacon board who for the majority don’t serve, but struggle for power and play roles that pit congregants against one another and their pastor. This style of leadership is ugly and creates drama fairly easily.
When all is said and done and the pages of this book are digested, one will clearly know and understand why the case for elders needs to be made, who qualifies for eldership, what an elder does, and when an elder will step in for decision-making, vision-casting, serving, guarding, and teaching.
This is an excellent resource that gives a biblical reasoning and evidence for the style of leadership that the church needs.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Academic & Ministry Blog Review Service. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”