|Size:||5.25 in x 8.25 in|
|Published:||January 31, 2012|
Any church leader knows the qualifications for elders and deacons are articulated in the Bible, but that same leader also knows that actually finding other leaders who fulfill the biblical qualifications is difficult. While many books analyze and debate the finer points of church government, few have been written on both elders and deacons, and fewer still successfully show how to identify and reproduce legitimate leaders and willing servants throughout the ranks of the church body.
Thabiti Anyabwile writes from his expertise as a pastor and an elder as well as from his experience of being led by faithful men—men who saw in him the fundamental qualities listed in Scripture and invested their time, energy, and love into grooming him to take their place. Balancing thoughtful analysis of pertinent passages with thorough application for practical use in a contemporary context, Anyabwile answers the questions, “Who should we look for to lead and serve in the church?” and “What should they do to fulfill their calling?” Most helpful, perhaps, are the lists “Observations to make” and “Questions to ask,” which are provided for each characteristic described. Rather than exacerbating the controversial questions surrounding these issues, this book provides meaningful action points that will prove effective for a wide range of interpretations.
“Out of an obvious love for the local church, Pastor Thabiti takes biblical leadership very seriously. He takes it so seriously that he has written a book designed to be both biblical and accessible to the people of the church—clearly explaining the Bible’s teaching on the qualifications for leadership and so much more. After a careful exposition of every leadership qualification, he includes a list of helpful questions for the aspiring leader to ask one’s self and for those who will be interviewing such aspiring leaders. Thank you, Thabiti, for helping me to reflect more deeply on my calling as an elder and in my effort to raise up God-glorifying and people-loving leaders in Christ’s church for the next generation!”
Tom Steller, Pastor for Leadership Development, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Dean, Bethlehem College and Seminary
“How do we identify, pick, and train the leaders we so desperately need? Pastor Thabiti has written a very practical and theologically faithful book that addresses this critical issue, leaving no stone left unturned. Thabiti’s questions on each and every quality are some of the best I have seen. It is the kind of book you will want to keep on hand and refer to as you consider potential deacons and elders for the ministry. The book is down to earth, relevant, and very thought provoking.”
Dave Kraft, Life and Leadership Coach, Building Champions; author, Leaders Who Last; Mistakes Leaders Make
“This is a great book. On the surface, it’s an extended meditation on the biblical qualities of elders and deacons that causes you to think carefully about what God intends for his leaders. What should churches look for? Are you that kind of person? But underneath, it’s a radical reorientation of what leadership in the church is. Church leadership does not depend on academic or professional success, but on godliness. This book will help change the way church members and leaders think of leadership, what we value, what we cultivate. Leaders and members both will benefit.”
Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director, 9Marks; Elder, Cheverly Baptist Church, Hyattsville, Maryland
“Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons offers the sort of meditations from the Pastoral Epistles that would-be elders and deacons-in-training need. Yet, pastors and laymen alike will find these chapters to be insightful and poignant, for they are faithful to Scripture, culturally contextualized, and able to be implemented immediately. I am encouraged to think that there are thousands of well-meaning churches peddling along with mediocre religious practice that could be transformed into vibrant, Christ-pleasing, soul-winning, community-transforming churches if the officers of their congregations would humbly embrace the simple exhortations of this gracious work.”
Eric C. Redmond, Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute; Associate Pastor of Preaching and Teaching, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois
“Thabiti Anyabwile’s book has been a great reminder to me of the basics that can easily be forgotten in the race for ecclesiastical progress—namely, that we need faithful elders and deacons. Although this book is meant to help those looking for church officers to know what to look for, I found the questions to be a good tonic to my soul and a mirror exposing the areas in which I need to shape up as a church pastor.”
Conrad Mbewe, Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia; Founding Chancellor, African Christian University
“As a member of a pastoral team that is always at some point in the process of identifying, developing, and affirming elders and deacons, I welcome this very helpful book by Thabiti Anyabwile. Right from the start, with the simple clarity and conviction of the opening sentences, this book is marked by sound biblical teaching. The consistent transition into the practical counsel at the end of each chapter, however, is where this book really proves its worth. Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons will be a most useful primer for all those who are committed to doing church leadership by the Bible.”
Mike Bullmore, Senior Pastor, CrossWay Community Church, Bristol, Wisconsin