Eldership and the Mission of God: Equipping Teams for Faithful Church Leadership, By J.R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt alt

Eldership and the Mission of God

Equipping Teams for Faithful Church Leadership

by J.R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt
Foreword by Alan Hirsch

Eldership and the Mission of God
  • Length: 216 pages
  • Published: February 28, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 9715
  • ISBN: 9780830897155

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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."

MaryKate Morse, author, Making Room for Leadership, professor of leadership and spiritual formation, George Fox Evangelical Seminary

"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."

JR Woodward, national director, The V3 Movement; author of Creating a Missional Culture

"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."

Michael Frost, Morling College, Sydney; author of The Road to Missional, Incarnate and Exiles

"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."

From the foreword by Alan Hirsch, missiologist, speaker, founding director of Forge Network and author of The Forgotten Ways

"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."

Tony Kriz, author of Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God Who Hides, tonykriz.com

"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."

Aaron Graham, lead pastor, The District Church

"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."

David Fitch, Betty R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary

"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.

David Mundt, CBA Retailers + Resources, March 2015

"Any church elder looking for insights on team leadership strategies will appreciate this survey."

The Midwest Book Review, May 2015


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

Discussion Questions
Recommended Resources
About the Authors


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J.R. Briggs

J.R. Briggs has served in ministry for over a decade in mega-churches, house churches, and church plants. J.R. is the founder of Kairos Partnerships, walking alongside and encouraging pastors and leaders in order to better equip them for God-honoring ministry.

Bob Hyatt

Bob Hyatt is the founding pastor of Evergreen Community in Portland, Oregon. In addition to being a pastor, he also serves as a spiritual director and coaches pastors and church planters towards Jesus-focused success in ministry. He is the coauthor of Eldership and the Mission of God with J.R. Briggs. A graduate of Western Seminary currently completing a doctorate at George Fox Seminary, Bob is the director of church and movement multiplication for the Ecclesia Network and is on staff with Kairos Partnerships. He is married to Amy and together they have three children.