The Reformed Baptist Movement has given rise to a new form of church leadership not practiced by Baptist churches prior to the 1950’s. The majority of modern books and articles almost invariably assert that each church should be overseen by a plurality of elders. While many churches have conformed to the new trend, others staunchly cling to their traditional practice of having a single pastor assisted by a group of deacons. It is unwise to follow a trend, or support a tradition, without knowing the scriptural, historic and practical reasons undergirding the practice.
I have invested more than seven years of extensive research on this subject. My notes and gathered resources are several thousand pages large. Some of this material was condensed and presented in more than a hundred lectures. The material has been reworked for print and is under review for publishing. The following post is the Introduction to the book.
If the church to which you belong as a member is under pressure to adopt an eldership, please contact me direct with any questions you may have concerning its scriptural meaning, historic relevance or practical application.
Jared Smith served twenty years as pastor of a Strict and Particular Baptist church in Kensington (London, England). He now serves as an Evangelist in the Philippines, preaching the gospel, organizing churches and training gospel preachers.