Books, Church Resources
Eldership in Action by Richard H. Swartley
This insightful resource explains in detail how a church can be truly biblical in its governance and leadership, while simultaneously fulfilling the Great Commission. The focus is on the elder’s collective responsibilities as well as practical aspects of putting biblical structures and methods to work. Also explored are implementation techniques: from the small church, to the church plant, to the large church with many members and ministries.
Richard is a retired space systems manager and engineer from Lockheed Martin. He has a Masters of Divinity, is a founding elder in 1972 of Church of the Saviour in Wayne, Pennsylvania; has served as chairman of the church’s elders; is an active elder, author, church consultant and counsellor.
This book is divided into 7 chapters dealing with the following areas:
Biblical Eldership –Distinction in Function, Plurality & Leadership, Problems.
Biblical Governance – The Challenge, N.T. Perspective on Leadership, Distortions of the Biblical Model, Can the N.T. Model Work Today?, What is the Real Impediment.
The Elder – Appointment, Term of Office, Relationships, Prerequisites for Governing Biblically.
The Elder Council – Responsibilities, Size, Delegation, Relating to and/or Recruiting Staff, Relationship with the Congregation.
Planning – Shared Values, Vision/Mission Statement, Goals, Objectives, Reporting, etc.
Council Decisions – Making Decisions, Consensus Leading, the Role of the Moderator, Handling Major Decisions, Involving the Congregation, Confidentiality, Emergency Decisions.
Council Meetings – Communication, Agenda, Prayer, Reports, Minutes, Manual, The Challenge.
What Others Have Said!
“I have not read any other book on church leadership and governing that so fully integrates the Biblical and wisely practical! This fantastic book will be immensely helpful …….”
- Walt Russell, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology
“Dick Swartley, a practitioner of the truths he presents, has spent a lifetime thinking about the issues of biblical church government…….He sets forth a positive, practical vision for effective church eldership. I highly recommend this valuable work as a standard reading for church leaders. It fills a big gap.”
- Alexander Strauch, author of Biblical Eldership
“While there are good books on the theology of eldership, Dick Swartley’s work carefully addresses the practice of eldership. It is clarifying, challenging, and convincing, and I commend its common sense linking of solid biblical insight with the real-life struggles those of us in church leadership all share.”
- Doug Goins, Peninsula Bible Church, Palo Alto, California