Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch is the standard when it comes to defining and articulating how elders should function in the life of the church.
I feel strongly that the church should be led by a group of qualified men who are called to serve. This blog post will not allow me time to defend why I believe that, but this book will. At the beginning of the book, Strauch gives his reasoning for writing the book.
"Literally tens of thousands of churches worldwide practice some form of eldership because they believe it to be a biblical teaching. Unfortunately, because the advocates of eldership have been so terribly delinquent in adequately articulating this doctrine, there is a great deal of confusion and unbiblical thinking surrounding the topic among most elder-led churches. There are persistent, crippling misconceptions about eldership that hinder churches from practicing authentic biblical eldership. This subject is too important to the local church to be bogged down in such confusion. Thus this book is aimed primarily at churches that practice eldership but misunderstand its true biblical character and mandate. Its purpose is to define, as accurately as possible from Scripture, what biblical eldership is" (10).
While he says his primary audience for this book are those churches that already believe in eldership, I believe this book also serves those who do not believe in it. He has done such a great job of laying out the why's and what's of biblical eldership. I have been through this book several times and anticipate going back to it time and time again in the future. If you ever wondered who elders are to be or what they are to do, this is the book for you. You will not be disappointed.
A Personal Word: Thinking about this book has made me think about the elders that I have served with here at Grace Bible Church for the past six years. I thank you men for your impute in my life and for your character as men of God. As this is my last week here, let it be known that I will miss you. I only hope that my time with the elders at my new church will be half as profitable as my time with you has been. May God continue to mold and shape you with His Word as you lead the congregation here in Hutchinson.