I’ve gotten quite a few questions from friends over the last year about why I was OK with pastoring a church that was elder-led. Here are a few reasons I was more than OK, but even preferred, to pastor a church with elders.
- I need accountability. Obviously, I can be held accountable with elders, but man does it help to have men who are so committed to seeing the church glorify God, and seeing the pastor stay healthy spiritually.
- I need someone who can say, “No.” Obviously, anyone can say no. But if the only real authority in the church equal or “over” the pastor is the personnel team (when it gets bad enough to potentially fire the pastor), there’s a problem.
- I can’t lead the church alone. Obviously, we have the Holy Spirit to lead. But, doesn’t it just seem better that there are multiple men seeking God’s will for the future of the Church, and to care for and shepherd the church?
- I may not be here forever. I hope I will be at my current church until I retire (I love it!), but pastors often move to different churches. Elders are more likely to have a family history in the area, and likely to stay. This is good for transition!
- God leads through a plurality of Godly men. Most simply put, it is the clear New Testament norm that a local church was led by a plurality of elders. The video below is taken from a message I gave on Titus 1, and further explains this.
God absolutely uses churches that don’t have elders, or pastors with equal authority. I don’t want to come across as someone who doubts that. I don’t at all. But I thought I’d share why my heart and pastoral ministry needs elders, and why even only after 8 months working with them for the first time in my life, I absolutely LOVE IT!