Over the weekend a received a question from a friend in Atlanta asking me about the role of elders in the local church. That led me to revisit a series of sermons I first preached in 1992 called In Search of the Early Church when our congregation in Oak Park was considering a new constitution that would establish a board of elders. I took a look at those sermons (for the first time in fourteen years) and decided that I still believe what I wrote then. Here are the five sermons in the series:
First Century Patterns for 21st-Century Churches
What Elders Do
Deacons and Deaconesses–Servants of Christ
Is Congregational Government Biblical?
How to Handle Trouble in the Church
In early 1993 I wrote a paper in which I discussed the qualifications for elders in more detail. Because Jim Warren offered it free of charge on Primetime America, we sent hundreds of copies around the country. That paper is called Portrait of a Godly Leader. Around that same time I wrote this elder job description.