It is now 2016! People tend to think about what really matters to them and establish some goals and new direction at the beginning of a New Year. At LifePoint Church we are doing that as a leadership team. This is why my first read for 2016 was a booklet by Alexander Strauch entitled Biblical Eldership. It is based on the author’s full volume that bears the same title.
Church leadership and governance aren’t typically at the top of people’s priority list as they think about what really matters to them heading into a new year. LifePoint Church, though, is adamant about the church being the church! We aren’t simply an organization, a movement, or a place where like-minded people get together to rally their cause. We are a church; a local expression of the body of Christ. We are the family of God, called by God to belong to him and to spread his gospel around the world.
In our insistence that the church be the church we recognize how important it is that something like church leadership and governance is done right. LifePoint Church is led by an elder team. They are a solid group of men whose lives reflect the gospel and who are committed to serving the church as biblical elders. In 2016 we are going to be digging deep into the biblical texts, church history, and books like Strauch’s Biblical Eldership. This, so we can grow in our understanding of the Lord’s ways and lead the church well.
For others who care about such things I recommend Strauch’s work. He is sound in his exegesis of the biblical passages that deal with eldership and he had done his homework with regard to church history. The following are a couple of highlights to whet your appetite for the book:
According to the New Testament, 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. (7)
Biblical eldership, however, can’t exist in an atmosphere of nominal Christianity. There can be no biblical eldership in a church where there is no biblical Christianity. (11)
The local church must in all earnestness insist on biblically qualified elders, even if such men take years to develop. (27)
Most important, biblical eldership guards and promotes the preeminence and position of Christ over the local church. (39)
Here’s to a great year of exploration and growth as we serve our Lord together!
 Strauch, Alexander, Biblical Eldership; Restoring the Eldership to its Rightful Place in the Church, (Lewis & Roth Publishers, 1997).