SHEP101 - Introduction to Biblical Eldership

What does it mean to be an Elder? With clarity and direct scriptural instruction, this course will explain the biblical teaching regarding local church leadership by a plurality of elders.

Pastoral leadership by a plurality of qualified, Spirit-appointed elders has been lost to many churches, or redefined in a way not consistent with the New Testament Scriptures. During this course, we will define the full biblical requirements for Christian elders and their God-given tasks to teach, protect, and lead God’s precious flock. These messages emphasize the importance of understanding the biblical writers’ original terminology, especially the profound significance of the apostles’ use of the shepherd-sheep imagery. In addition, these messages stress the biblical examples and teaching on the plurality of leadership for local churches.


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will learn that Biblical Eldership is: 

  1. Eldership by the book. We call it “biblical eldership” because it honestly and accurately represents the biblical teaching of eldership.

  2. Pastoral eldership. Both the apostles Paul and Peter use shepherd-sheep imagery when defining the work of elders. Thus biblical elders are shepherd (pastor) elders.

  3. Biblically qualified eldership. Biblical elders are required to meet moral and spiritual qualifications and be able to teach sound doctrine and protect the church from false teaching.

  4. Spirit-appointed eldership. Biblical elders must be Spirit-appointed, not self-appointed.

  5. Pastoral oversight of the local church by a plurality of qualified elders. As 1 Tim. 5:17-18 demonstrates, the plurality of elders entails both equality of authority and diversity of giftedness, knowledge, and experience.

Book: Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership by Alexander Strauch