This past Sunday our adult Bible class concluded a brief, two-part study on elders. Separately a friend emailed to ask what resources we would use for elder training. I thought it might serve those of you who attended the class in case you wanted to do more reading on the subject. So here’s my reply:
I’ve used Strauch’s Biblical Eldership. The workbook is exhaustive–and a bit exhausting! Merkle’s 40 Questions is okay, but it’s more a polemic than a teaching tool. On my short list of books to read are Newton’s Elders in Congregational Life, Dickson’s The Elder and His Work, and Witmer’s The Shepherd Leader. I’ve heard great things about the last of these.
Our lay leadership is working through The Trellis and the Vine to contemplate what body life ought to look like. Next year I hope to walk them through Dever’s The Deliberate Church as a way T&V may be implemented in a local church.
Someone asked me if I were to give an elder-in-training 100 pages to read, what would it be? Here’s my response:
* Psalm 23, Ezekiel 34, John 10, Acts 20.19-36, and 1 Peter 5.1-11.
* Parts of The Trellis and the Vine.
* The parts of The Deliberate Church that relate to “Gathering Elders” and “When the Elders Gather.”
* Horatius Bonar’s Words to Winners of Souls.
What resources would you add?