This book is radically biblical in its call for the application of New Testament order in the matters of church government and ministry. Mr. Strauch has walked out what he advocates in the book. He is one of 7 elders at Tulsa Christian Fellowship. Everyone there knows and understands that Jesus Christ is the Head shepherd or "Lead Pastor". The 7 human beings are under-shepherds, walking in mutual submission to one another, and seeking the Lord together. they are walking out the apostle Peter's instruction in I Peter 5 to the elders to "shepherd the Flock over which the Lord has made you overseers..." -This book is scholarship backed up by decades of street level experience. I heartily recommend it. (I have been an elder/pastor for 35 years; having been a member of my own church for 7 years before that.)
Biblical justification for the plurality of elders
November 8, 2012
Because our church is anticipating the transition from a pastor-deacon structure to an elder-led form of government, I was drawn to this book. Alexander Strauch has compiled an outstanding biblical theology of church eldership, surveying all of the major New Testament texts related to this topic. In reading its nearly-300 pages, I could help but seeing this volume as a helpful text for a seminary course on church polity. Having said that, however, it serves more of an introduction to the topic rather than a heavy treatise. Strauch does a commendable job of shattering traditional models of church leadership, while issuing an urgent call to restore the biblical pattern that has virtually been forgotten in many congregations and denominations. Therefore, prospective elders would be well served to read it before actually seeking or serving as an elder. It is packed with scriptural support and is well annotated. I was personally disappointed, however, that the author did not devote a chapter to the subject of transitioning into a elder-led structure from the more traditional paradigms that have characterized the western church for the past two centuries. Having said that, this is a helpful volume for those seeking a return to the apostolic model.