Biblical Eldership – Review
“I doubt that many evangelical leaders would say `It doesn’t matter how the U.S. government is structured as long as there is some form of leadership.’ Yet, that is precisely what I have heard some evangelical leaders say.” (102)
The fact is, many people in the church today do not think about church leadership. As long as something is in place, as long as the church is headed in the right direction, that is good enough. Alexander Strauch has written Biblical Eldership to reveal the truth about church leadership, plainly revealed in God’s Word.
Part One defines what Biblical eldership is. “According to the New Testament concept of eldership, elders lead the church, teach and preach the Word, protect the church from false teachers, exhort and admonish the saints in sound doctrine, visit the sick and pray, and judge doctrinal issues. In biblical terminology, elders shepherd, oversee, lead, and care for the local church.” (16)
Strauch covers Pastoral Leadership, Shared Leadership, Male Leadership, Qualified Leadership, and Servant Leadership each in a separate chapter. Each chapter is thorough, easy to read, and back up with scripture references throughout.
Part Two is a defense of Biblical Eldership. The average church member is not interested in the leadership structure in the church, but it is hugely important. As Strauch says, the structure of church government will help determine how people think and act in the church. In my experience, people just don’t want to talk about eldership for one reason or another, choosing to focus on the “more important” issues. However, “the New Testament offers more instruction regarding elders than on other important church subjects such as the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Day, baptism, or the spiritual gifts.” (103)
Obviously, eldership is hugely important in Scripture and needs to be carefully considered by every local church.
Part Three serves as the exposition of Scripture on eldership. It essentially covers the same material as Parts One and Two, but expositionally instead of topically.
Part Four includes two short chapters, one on the appointment of elders and one on the relationship with elders and their congregation.
Biblical Eldership is a great book that covers an underserved area of theology and should serve as an example for other Christian authors who want to cover church topics. It is Biblical, thorough, and well written. Highly recommended for all readers interested in Biblical leadership in the church.