Everything rises or falls on good leadership. The fruitfulness and effectiveness of the local church are dependent upon men who exert strong, humble, and God-centered leadership. Weak men spawn weak churches. But men who live according to God’s mandate are a part of churches that thrive and produce spiritual fruit to the glory of God.
1 Timothy 3:1, “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer; he desires a noble task.” So says the apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy. Raising up biblical elders was a challenge in the first-century church. It continues to pose a tremendous challenge in our day as well. There are numerous resources that help equip biblical elders. The most notable resource is Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch.
Robert Thune’s excellent work, Gospel Eldership: Equipping a New Generation of Servant Leaders serves as a suitable companion and will no doubt be greatly used by God in the days to come.
The thesis is clear enough: “And is it not true that for a church to go deep in the gospel, its leaders must be deep in the gospel? That’s the vision and the goal behind Gospel Eldership.”
So the author presents ten lessons that provide a workable platform to train prospective elders and nurture the faith of men who currently serve as elders.
Description of an Elder
Section one discusses biblical eldership at a grassroots level. The author explores the importance of servant leadership, examines the necessity of a plurality of leadership, and walks readers through the various character qualifications the make up an elder.
Duties of Elders
Section two focusses on the important duties of elders. Elders are called upon to feed, lead, protect, and care for the church. In addition, Mr. Thune discusses the necessity of leadership that is missional and also touches on some temptations that emerge in missional leaders.
The first thing readers will notice in this work is the short, readable chapters. Each lesson is packed with biblical wisdom that points readers to the gospel. Discussion questions are included along with exercises that will help apply the biblical principles.
There is much to commend in Thune’s work. But the highlight of this book is found in its repeated emphasis on the gospel. The author sets his sights on the heart of the reader. It is clear from beginning to end that the aim is heart transformation in every elder.
I highly recommend Gospel Eldership and look forward to hearing about how it encourages Christian leaders around the world.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.