Saturday, December 19, 2009


During our last church business meeting, a motion was made that we look into exploring the Biblical office of Elders. Southern Baptists have some history with utilizing a plural board of elders within their churches, though they do not serve as the "Ruling" Elders you would find in a Presbyterian church. Since Southern Baptists are Congregational in nature, the power over decisions in our churches resides in the vote of the entire congregation. Though plural Elders have been used in the history of the SBC in advisory leadership positions, many are unfamiliar with their true role. On Wednesday Nights, we are looking at what the Bible says about this fascinating and sometimes controversial topic. Below, I am providing some notes and papers that have been used to help Southern Baptist Churches learn more about Elders. I invite you to attend these meetings and bring any questions you have.

Schedule of Discussion -
December 16 - The Roles and Government of the Church
December 30 - Elders in the Bible and common questions about Elders
January 20 - Elders in the History of the Southern Baptist Convention

Helpful Papers:
The Offices and Government of the Church - by Bro. David Crowe. These are the notes from the December 16 discussion. I relied heavily on Millard Erickson's Christian Theology, as well as Danny Akin's A Theology for the Church for this discussion.

By Whose Authority ? - by Mark Dever. Click on the link and then download the PDF document of Dever's paper. Dever provides a helpful overview of the Southern Baptist understanding of Elders.

Elder Rule and Southern Baptist Polity - by Robert Wring. Wring presents a healthy defense against "Ruling" Elders in the SBC. He also is fair in mentioning Dever's views on the matter.

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