Elders and Leaders: God's Plan for Leading the Church - A Biblical, Historical, and Cultural  Perspective

Elders and Leaders: God's Plan for Leading the Church - A Biblical, Historical, and Cultural Perspective

by Gene A. Getz

However, very few people, Gene Getz believes, understand the biblical pattern for church leadership.

In the first part of the book, Getz lays the historical and biblical groundwork for the position of elder.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Leadership
  • Rating: 3.83
  • Pages: 368
  • Publish Date: August 1st 2003 by Moody Publishers
  • Isbn10: 080241057X
  • Isbn13: 9780802410573

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This is the best book I've ever read about leadership principles in church.

We see a move from a world that saw smaller communities largely connected on a larger level through dedicated traveling "prophets" (apostles), towards a more static and stationary and dominating governing presence. That said, I think the underlying supra-cultural themes that pushed a lot of the governing and structural realities forward are certainly fair assertions. One of the questions I had in reading this book is, where might our current Church structures today be challenged from a scriptural, historical and cultural perspective? It becomes difficult to measure this appropriately today, given that it certainly didn't take these early communities very long to come up against some very divisive issues that served to complicate a simple Gospel message. And certainly the existence of a primary or sole leader remains a challenge in this early picture, even if our current world appears to demand (both on a secular and Church level) a primary leader in order to survive or grow in an ever changing cultural landscape. This could perhaps allow us to adapt to each culture with a bit more freedom, understanding that while structure and models and labels and titles remain earthly functions, that the idea of mentorship, spiritual nurture, shepherding and caring are God given moral realties that can exist on a supra-cultural level. However, the due diligence it gives to unfolding the early culture itself, along with it's willingness to put scripture forefront on the table is certainly enough to make this a necessary and important read for Churches faced with the question of Church governance and the nature of appropriate spiritual leadership.

The marketing tagline suggests that this is a Biblical, historical and cultural examination of the role of elder and other leaders in a New Testament church. There is also an examination of the historical development of leadership in the New Testament church. This isn't a main focus of the book but I stand in contention against him on this point.

Required reading for Evangelical Free Church of America GATEWAY Phase 2 This book deals with the following issues: How many people should be on an elder board? Getz gets an A+ for comprehensively identifying all the issues related to elders, deacons, and church leaders.

A couple of the better points made in the book include: -"Without an ongoing understanding of the way people think, feel, and function in a given culture, it's impossible to both interpret Scripture properly and to apply biblical principles in various cultures of the world.

He also does a great breakdown and differentiation of the Eldership "functions" described in the Bible and the "forms" (not explicitly prescribed in the Bible) which are used by church leadership to carry out these functions.

I like the approach that Gene has taken in writing this book.