“The quality of your elder plurality determines the health of your church.” This is the premise that undergirds Dave Harvey’s new offering, The Plurality Principle. The subtitle, How to Build and Maintain a Thriving Church Leadership Team, nicely summarizes this practical volume’s essence.
Harvey prepares readers for this thought-provoking journey by providing a short roadmap. Five observations will keep leadership teams on track and moving in a Godward direction:
- How healthy pluralities keep the church moving forward.
- How healthy plurals can be designed to work.
- How healthy pluralities create a context for elder care.
- How healthy pluralities offer authentic community that’s characterized by vulnerability, honesty, and growth through self-disclosure.
In what follows, the author presents the biblical case for a plurality of elders in the local church. He adds, “A plural-leadership model is foundational for the local church. Plurality not only reflects the co-equality, unity, and community expressed by the Trinity (2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:2; Jude 20-21). It serves the church in at least six other ways.”
- Plurality embodies and expresses the NT principle of interdependence and the diversity of gifts among members of Christ’s body (Rom. 14:4-6; 1 Cor. 12).
- Plurality acknowledges human limitations by recognizing that no one elder or bishop can possess the full complement of gifts God intends to use to bless and build the church (1 Cor. 12:21).
- Plurality creates a leadership structure where men must model the unity to which God calls the whole church (John 17:23; Rom. 15:5; Eph. 4:3; Col. 3:14.
- Plurality creates a community of care, support, and accountability that guards the calling, life, and doctrine of the leaders (1 Tim. 4:14, 16; Titus 1:6-9).
- Plurality provides a mechanism to deal wisely and collaboratively with the institutional necessities of the local church.
- Plurality contradicts the idea of a singular genius and replaces it with what the Bible calls an “abundance of counselors” (Prov. 11:14; 24:6) who collaborate, lead, and guide the church together.
Additionally, Harvey builds a case for the “first among equals” and offers practical advice for senior pastors. Building a culture of care and accountability is at the heart of the book.
Throughout, the author ably defends the original theme of the “plurality principle.” His book is a helpful addition to a growing body of books that address biblical eldership.
Dr. David Steele has been in pastoral ministry since 1991. He holds BS and MA degrees from Multnomah University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary and a D. Min from Bakke Graduate University. Following graduation from Multnomah University, he served eight years as Pastor to Students at Lacey Chapel. In 2000, he became the Pastor of Theology at First Baptist Church in La Grande, Oregon where he served for over eleven years. In 2012, he became the Senior Pastor at Christ Fellowship in Everson, Washington.
He is the author of Bold Reformer: Celebrating the Gospel-Centered Convictions of Martin Luther, A Godward Gaze: The Holy Pursuit of John Calvin, and The White Flag: When Compromise Cripples the Church.
At Christ Fellowship he leads the staff, serves as the Pastor for preaching and vision casting, and oversees Veritas (adult theological education) and Iron Men (men’s leadership development).
His personal mission is to positively influence people, impact the world one person at a time and to glorify God by enjoying him forever. His passion in ministry is preaching, teaching, and leadership development. Specifically, his aim is to educate the mind, engage the affections, equip the whole person, and encourage God-centered living that treasures Christ above all things.
He and his wife, Gerrene were married in 1991 and they have two children.