Eldership and the Mission of God
Every church needs leadership. But leadership should not reside in a single pastor. The biblical model for church leadership is found in teams of elders who together guide the community into God's mission.
Church leaders J.R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt provide a comprehensive picture of elders as agents of mission for their communities. Healthy eldership structures a church for mission, as elder teams model the kind of community the local church is intended to be and steward the gospel in a local context.
Looking at eldership through a missiological lens, Briggs and Hyatt unpack the role, character and posture of a mission-oriented elder. Elders oversee, shepherd, teach, equip and model for God?s people what life with Jesus looks like in a particular context. Including a study guide that elder teams can work through together, the authors provide practical guidance for how elders are selected, work together, make decisions, protect the congregation and invest in the lives of others.
Discover here a clear vision for what it means to be a faithful elder. May it help you and your church thrive in pursuing God's mission in the world.
"Hyatt and Briggs are like chiropractors for the church. They describe eldership as the church's 'bone structure,' which today is often in sore need of alignment and adjustment. They align the fundamental value of eldership by affirming its biblical purpose and the elders' commitment to God's mission in ordinary, everyday lives. Then they offer adjustments by unpacking in very practical and relevant ways what mission-minded elders look like, what derails them, how they create healthy culture, and then how elders manage the challenges that come, ultimately addressing the question of women elders. I found this book very helpful, and recommend it as an important resource for every church that wants a healthier, more active leadership structure."
"The church has been in need of an updated understanding of eldership. With seasoned wisdom and theological rigor, Hyatt and Briggs team up to shift the role of elders from being a domesticated business board that focuses on maintenance, to a daring community of servant leaders who equip the whole church to join God's mission in the world. This is the best book I've read on eldership."
"If your church's eldership basically operates like the board of directors of a small religious enterprise, get them to read this book. Quick. J.R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt not only outline the biblical functions of eldership but they do so through the missional prism that the original biblical writers used. For them, eldership is missional insofar as elders are called to not only equip the church for mission but to eliminate as many factors as possible that could derail the missional orientation of the church. Biblical, practical, warm and inspiring."
"J.R. and Bob give us something that few—if any—books on church eldership have offered before: an accessible mission-directed primer on faithful leadership in localized, contextualized Jesus communities. . . . My hope is that this book will compel us to forego the prevalent version of decaffeinated Christianity and instead cultivate a missionary ethos that ignites faith communities to participate in the unrestrained and uncorked adventure of life with Jesus."
"The central theme of mission feels more paramount today than ever. Hyatt and Briggs have taken the indispensable biblical-cultural discussion of leadership beneath 'corporate strategies' and 'personality attraction' and have instead deep-rooted eldership in humble, courageous and contextualized co-missioning with the Master. This is a book for church influencers everywhere."
"The missional church can often overlook the importance of eldership and governance. Hyatt and Briggs show us how vital these questions are in order for outward mission to be sustained. They provide a biblically rooted and mission-centered vision for eldership. The parts about the character, qualifications, and selection of elders were particularly helpful for me as a pastor."
"Intensely practical, thoroughly rich in wisdom, Eldership and the Mission of God is a book on church leadership that defies its stereotype. As well-honed practitioners and careful thinkers, Briggs and Hyatt recast everything about elder work for its call to mission. I wish I'd had this book twenty years ago."
"This book is written from experience and lessons learned; it's engaging, warm, and practical, not dry and heavy. The authors' egalitarian position doesn't overwhelm the book; indeed, complimentarians will embrace and be challenged in nearly every chapter. Discussion questions are included. Recommend to every pastor, elder, and church planter.
"Any church elder looking for insights on team leadership strategies will appreciate this survey."
Introduction: Structured for Mission
1. Mission-Oriented Elders
2. Characteristics of Mission Alignment—and What Derails It
3. The Roles of an Elder
4. Biblical Qualifications of an Elder
5. Cultivating an Ethos Rooted in God?s Mission
6. Selecting Elders
7. Eldership as Spiritual Formation
8. Team Leadership
9. The Role of Elders in Decision Making
10. The Difficult Tasks of Elders
11. What about Women Elders?
12. Practical Questions and Answers
Epilogue: Eldership as Stewardship
About the Authors