Paul and Barnabas made a decisive move toward the end of the first missionary journey: they appointed elders in the churches they had established, entrusting them with responsibility to shepherd the young congregations. The need for faithful shepherding has not changed since that time, yet the leadership structure of most churches no longer follows this model. Newton and Schmucker convincingly demonstrate that a return to the New Testament pattern of elder plurality best serves the shepherding needs of the local church.
The authors suggest a workable process for improving a local church's structure and making the transition to elder leadership. Stories of church leaders provide a narrative of how faithful elder leadership has strengthened their ministries in a variety of settings. Every local church can benefit from this useful resource for building a healthy leadership structure.
Elders in the Life of the Church, previously published as Elders in Congregational Life, includes substantial updates and revisions, additional illustrations, and a new chapter addressing how missionaries can effectively apply the New Testament's teaching on elder leadership.