A definitive and biblical answer to the current debate in many churches over the use of biblical offices in autonomous congregations. Many evangelical churches place high value on their autonomy as local congregations with the freedom to govern themselves. Ideally this means each member participates in decisionmaking, but in reality pure congregationalism is unwieldy, subject to conflicts on the one hand and inertia on the other. Pastors often solve the problem by absorbing more and more authority for themselves. Neither approach is biblical.
A biblically functioning church requires much more than skillful organization and clever techniques. It calls for intentional devotion to the New Testament model of the church, and church leadership stands at the heart of the model. In this practical book, experienced pastor Phil Newton explains the necessity of elder plurality and how it functions in a congregational setting. He then calls for churches to raise the standards of church leadership. Newton demonstrates the history of elder plurality in Baptist life, expounds three biblical texts to shed light on the New Testament model for spiritual leaders, and provides answers to commonly asked questions.
"A valuable contribution not only on the subject of eldership, but concerning biblical leadership. The young pastor or anyone grappling with leadership issues will benefit not only from the teaching of the book, but also from the appendices filled with carefully developed materials." --David L. Olford