Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $2.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Elder And His Work Paperback – May 3, 2004
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Dickson's work has a continuing relevance for today's church and its leaders. Both teaching and ruling elders will benefit from this excellent work, and the whole church will be nurtured and strengthened." --J. Stafford Carson
"Though this book was written by a Scottish ruling elder over 150 years ago, Dickson sets forth the framework for the ruling elder in shepherding God's flock. Rediscovering these biblical principles and practicing them would impact today's church." --Charles Dunahoo
"Phil Ryken and George McFarland have served us well by bringing this classic on the shepherding ministry of elders up-to-date and back into print. The thoughtful tone of this work is convicting, encouraging us to be the shepherds God has raised up for the good of His flock and the glory of His name. I can't wait to use this with our own elders!" --Mark Dever
About the Author
David Dickson was an elder in nineteenth-century Scotland. At the age of thirty, he was ordained as an elder in the Free New North Church, and he served as clerk of session for thirty-three years. His practical experiences as an elder led him to publish The Elder and His Work.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
This edition combines his text with study questions at the end of each chapter to encourage application. While we used this book for officer training, the study questions are designed more for current elders to examine their work.
This book has been an excellent part of my officer training (note: for those interested, I am in a PCA church). It is very focused on practical advice on how to serve as an elder. A major portion of the book is given to advice related to personally visiting members of the congregation.
While Dickson was Presbyterian, his church had a somewhat different structure than the churches I have been in (in Dickson's time and place, elders were in charge of a geographic "district"). Even so, his advice is very applicable today and is readily adapted.
Besides the importance of visitation, two things struck me from this book. First, that the time required for an elder's "official" duties is actually fairly small (according to Dickson). Second, that an elder is always an elder, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (He even takes time to discuss an elder's work while on vacation!) Those who aspire to eldership, aspire to a certain life in addition to an office.
I highly recommend this book to those in training for the office of elder and for those who are already elders. While I studied it individually, the study questions are very amenable to group discussion.
But this was such a thrilling example of what elders in the service of Yeshua should be doing that I couldn't put it down. The book consists of 13 easy to read chapters that contain many gems of service to the flock of Messiah. There is no "deep theology" here, only a leading by example that James himself would make James proud. I found there were dozens of wonderful ideas about how to encourage God's people. Im not sure you can read this book and not see how God touched the life of David Dickson.
The text is actually a re-publish of David Dickson's classic work. The new editors have done a nice job of "translating" several customs that are not in practice anymore, as well as some Scottish "slang." This is needed because the book is pretty dated (for example, using "tokens" for communion). But the editor's real contribution is the study questions at the end of each chapter. They drip with the fruit of the Spirit. And they will make you think hard and deep about what it means to be an elder or a leader.
This book is easy to read and seems destined for a perfect application Bible study, a training course for elders, or general knowledge those who are called to leadership in the service of the Messiah. Highly edifying, the way ministry should be.
'If the elder is to discharge the duty laid upon him in Scripture - "to reprove, rebuke and exhort" (2 Tim 4:2), to "be able by sound doctrine to exhort and convince gainsayers" (Titus 1:9) - the Word of God must be the man of his counsel, his daily companion.' p 32 The man of God is satisfied with the Word of God.
Paul's instruction to Timothy would indicate that Timothy served as the appointee of overseers/elders/bishops/shepherds of Christ's flock in a first generation setting. These terms are used synonymously, and thereby imply equality and plurality, as practised by Presbyterian office-bearers, which provides for collegial governance. This is in opposition to the linear flow-chart of church governance as found in papal authority, causing ambition to play a role in church leadership.
According to Dickson, the primary responsibility of elders is two-fold. Hebrews 13:17 asks they give an account for the souls under their care, with Calvin serving the necessary precaution that those to whom honor and obedience must be rendered are those that are found faithful in their office, as elders who are only so by title, are so '...for the purpose of destroying the church, [and ] deserve but little reverence and still less confidence.' Commentary on Hebrews 13:17 A more private aspect is determined by Paul's words in Acts 20:28 in that they are to "pay attention to yourselves", for as Calvin rightly commented, 'For that man will never be careful for the salvation of other men who will neglect his own.' Commentary on Acts 20:28 Dickson defended what many today feel to be the most important qualification of an elder, given the sudden increase in the demand for charisma: 'The usefulness of an elder will depend in the long run more on his character than on his gifts and knowledge.' p 34 The duty of spiritual care is made easier if the elder knows every member of the congregation, and is familiar with those in his particular district of visitation. 'An elder should visit all the people, rich as well as poor.' p 50 Dickson was especially attentive of children present and endeavoured always 'to catechize them a little', hoping that it would bear fruit 'in the case of those who reach years of understanding' as 'it has passed through the crucible of their own minds and souls'. 'It was the command of our Lord that the lambs should be fed as well as the sheep. This has been too lightly thought of, and a handle has thus been given to opponents of infant baptism.' p 66
A variety of ways of doing good is discussed by Dickson. He cautions that 'Cases occur of great delicacy and difficulty, and in dealing with them the elder must take care to give no occasion for his good being evil spoken of.' p 85 Dickson was mindful that Scripture sets the restoration and salvation of the offender as the primary effect desired of the ordinance of discipline (Gal 6). 'The second is maintaining the purity of the church and freeing it from scandal.' p 95 Ameliorating Matthew 18, he urged elders to "First speak to your brother alone, and deal with him faithfully and kindly". Dickson gave a time-honored defense and biblical summary that would serve as a beachhead for all elders.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recommend this book.