Alexander Strauch has given the Church a thorough exposition of the various texts related to the office of elder from the New Testament and provided historical background from the Old Testament and history to help it understand the true nature of the office of elder. Strauch is controversial in nature because he denounces the separation of the body of Christ into two castes (clergy and layity) and denominational governance.
- An Explanation and Defense of Biblical Eldership
- Humble Servants
- The Elders of Israel
- The Jewish Christian Elders at Word – Acts 11:30; 15:1-22; 21:17-26
- Praying for the Sick – James 5:13-15
- Appointing Elders – Acts 14:23
- Guarding the Church from False Teachers – Acts 20:17-38
- Hard Working Men – I Thessalonians 5:12-13
- The Relationship Between Elders and Congregation – I Thessalonians 5:13 (b)
- Shared Brotherly Leadership – Philippians 1:1
- The Elders’ Work, Attitudes, and Rewards – I Peter 5:1-5
- Congregational Submission – Hebrews 13:17
- Only Qualified Men Can Serve as Elders – Titus 1:5-9
- A Noble Work Demands Noble Men: More Qualifications – I Timothy 3:1-7
- Male Leadership – I Timothy 2:9-13
- The Laying on of Hands and Ordination – I Timothy 4:14
- Elders Who Labor at Teaching: Worthy of Double Honor – I Timothy 5:17-18
- Nonclerical Leadership – I Timothy 5:17-18
- Protecting, Disciplining, and Assessing an Elder – I Timothy 5:19-25
- Deacons – I Timothy 3:8-13
- Making Biblical Eldership Work
Biblical eldership is not for the faint of heart as it asks the churches leaders to take an active role in discipling the members of their flock, who often times have come to rely on the paid, professional minister to do the work of the church that all Christians are called to do. As I write this I realize that I have been guilty of this myself.
Christians who are a part of a denomination will be challenged by this as Strauch asks them to follow what the early church practiced, independent local churches, and not the traditions that have since been passed down through the ages.
He cautions that there must be great care taken in selecting men for the position of elder in the church and equally in their commitment to working as a team to lead and shepherd the members of the church, of whom they are still apart.
My understanding of what an elder does was greatly enhanced by this book. Some things I thought I had right were a little askew but others were reinforced through the Biblical exposition.
I read the ©1988 edition but it has since been revised and expanded. He has also produced discussion and study guides for those who would like to study further. Additionally, he has produced a mentors guide for those helping others as they seek the office of elder.
Strauch, Alexander. Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership. Littleton, CO: Lewis and Roth Publishers, 1988. Print. [Amazon] [Christianbook] [Alibris] [Barnes & Noble]