Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Church Government - Part 6 The Plural-Elder-Led Church

The Plural-Elder-Led Church

As with the single-elder-led church, there is ample biblical evidence to support a plurality of elders in the local church. Also like the single-elder-led church and Congregationalism, the plural-elder-led church is independent and autonomous meaning that it is not governed by any denominational authority. In addition to leadership, decisions about membership, doctrine, worship, missions, facilities, finances, etc. are made within the local church. Biblical evidence for plural elder leadership includes Acts 20:17; Phil.1:1; and 1 Pet. 5:1-4 among other passages.[1]

Strengths of this form of governance are similar to single-elder-led congregations which include the inherent accountability of the elders themselves not only to the congregation but to each other. A weakness of this view of polity is the separation of teaching and ruling elders in direct contradiction to 1 Tim. 3:1-7 where clearly we see all elders teach and all elders also rule. Another weakness of this governance model is the concentration of power in the hands of a small, though plural, group of individuals.

[1] Brand, Chad Owen, and R. Stanton Norman. ed. Perspectives on Church Government: 5 Views. (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2005), 272.

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