The Bible on Elders

Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church LeadershipBiblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership by Alexander Strauch

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alexander Strauch has written a solid treatment of elders as they were meant to be by the Bible.

At least half the book is exposition of Scripture texts related to elders - a real strength. You need a team of multiple elders who are humble servants who can teach and apply Scripture to the flock in a caring and truthful way. I can see this book being a God-send to Baptist or non-denominational congregations that begin to realize they should have elders and wonder where to start.

It feels like the other half of the book is Strauch’s strident opposition to clericalism. He has a chip on his shoulder against educated pastors being distinct from elders. That can lead to professionalism and the pushing aside of elders doing their shepherding work, but the education is needed, and the distinction should be noted officially in the body (1 tim 5:17). His fixation with not having lone pastors could be very discouraging to pastors in small churches with little other leadership, or it could keep a formally educated elder from feeling he has something important to contribute to the elder team. Churches need to value both the shepherding of lay elders, and the training of a full-time elder/pastor, without devaluing one at the expense of the other. To put this in 2-office, 3-office (2.5-office!) terminology, Strauch is 2.1 office, while I am 2.75 office.

Nevertheless, this is worthwhile and important reading for every elder, or Christian thinking about becoming an elder.

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