• Jared Smith on Eldership

    2 Identifying Biblical Eldership

    If a plurality of elders is the scriptural mode for church governance, as asserted by the Reformed Baptists, then every church falling short of this practice is in error. And a serious error it is, for the Reformed Baptists have made this issue a leading point of doctrine. Their biblical thesis for a plural eldership hinges on four propositions: First, church officers were chosen from the congregation at which time they became ‘elders’ (whether it be teaching or ruling elders). Second, the pattern recorded in the New Testament always points to each church having a plurality of elders. Third, this scriptural pattern is paramount to an apostolic prescription that is binding on each church—ideally, every congregation is responsible to appoint a plural eldership.  Fourth, the…

  • Jared Smith on Eldership

    1 An Introduction To Plural Eldership

    During the 1950’s, a resurgence of Presbyterian theology greatly influenced a number of Baptist ministers. At that time, a revision was made on how Baptist churches should function. Drawing from the Presbyterian teachings on church polity, it was advocated that each congregation should be served by a plurality of elders and deacons. Elders would be responsible for the spiritual welfare of the church; deacons would be responsible for the physical upkeep of the church. As this concept was developed, two camps of plural eldership emerged:

  • Jared Smith on Eldership

    Preface To The Teaching Transcripts

    The following articles are transcripts (with slight revisions) of my pulpit teachings between the years 2010-2013, given to the church meeting at Kensington Place, London, over which I was then pastor. In the Autumn of 2009, the church came under internal and external pressures to replace the pastoral office with a plural eldership, as advocated by the Reformed Baptists. Since this type of polity had never been practiced by the 150 year old church, I was not quick to adopt the system. Nevertheless, I was willing to make the change so long as the Scriptures sanctioned it. The arguments set forth by the plural eldership proponents were strong and convincing—on a biblical and practical level. However, there were a number of contradictions and unsettled issues…

  • William Styles, A Guide To Church Fellowship (Complete)

    Article 17 – Pastors And Deacons

    Articles Of The Faith And Order Of A Primitive Or Strict And Particular Baptist Church Of The Lord Jesus Christ, Based On The Declaration Of Faith And Practice Of John Gill, D. D., 1720 XVII. Pastors and Deacons. We believe that the officers of Christian churches are Pastors, (or Bishops,) and Deacons, and that the right of choosing these is vested in each individual Church as such. That a Pastor’s duties are spiritual, namely, to tend the flock of God; to administer the ordinances of His house; to expound the Word and preach the Gospel; instruct inquiring sinners; visit the sick; and generally to watch for the souls of those under his care as one “that must give an account.”[1] That Deacons are honorary servants…

  • Jared Smith On Various Issues

    A Very Strange Sound In Our Ears

    Strange things  I've heard Reformed Baptists say: "We must believe like John Calvin, but evangelize like James Arminius!" "If it were not for Paedobaptism, I would be a Presbyterian!" "A church is at high risk of pastoral dictatorship unless more than one pastor is appointed." "Christians need the church like babies need milk...it is their nourishment for life." "Hyper-calvinists have no urgency to preach the gospel to dying sinners," said one while spending a day visiting with me in the sitting room, instead of urgently preaching the gospel to my neigbors. "It is the unbeliever's duty to believe on Christ, and the believer's duty to obey the [moral] law!" "God wants you to come to Christ; the only thing keeping you from salvation is your…

  • Edward Hiscox's New Directory For Baptist Churches

    11 The Christian Ministry

    Few questions can be so vitally important to any Church, whether as relates to its own peace and prosperity, or to the success of the work it is appointed to do, as that of the kind of ministry which shall serve and lead it. No greater blessing can be granted of Heaven to a Church than a capable, judicious, pious pastor; and no greater calamity can befall one than to have an incompetent, unfaithful, secularized, and worldly minded minister. The people naturally contemplate the office with feelings of reverence, and consequently regard the incumbent with very great deference, to say the least. The young, in a special manner, consider what he says as true, and what he, does as right. The position commands high regard,…