From the Back Cover
Self-government and autonomy are long-standing cherished traditions of most evangelical churches. Ideally this means each member participates in decision making, but in reality pure congregationalism is unwieldy and unworkable. Pastors try to solve the problem by assuming more and more of the authority themselves. Neither approach is biblical.
A biblically functioning church requires intentional devotion to the New Testament model of church leadership. In this practical book, experienced pastor Phil Newton examines this biblical model of leadership by explaining the necessity of elder plurality and how it functions in a congregational setting. Newton demonstrates the history of elder plurality from personal experience in Baptist life, expounds three biblical texts to shed light on the New Testament model for spiritual leaders, and provides answers to commonly asked questions.
“A valuable contribution not only on the subject of eldership, but concerning biblical leadership.”
—David L. Olford
President, Olford Ministries International
“You can tell by the wealth of information in these chapters that Phil has lived through the process, and he’s willing to share his own experiences—good and bad—in order to help us have even better experiences in our churches.”
—Pastor Mark Dever
From the foreword
Phil A. Newton (D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is a senior pastor at South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., where he has been since 1987. In ministry for more than thirty years, he also has served as an adjunct professor at several schools, and is regularly involved in leading international mission teams. Phil and his wife, Karen, live in Germantown, Tenn.