What is it?
The Bible teaches that each local church should be led by a plurality of godly, qualified men called elders.
Where is it in the Bible?
Paul lays out the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Passages that evidence a plurality of elders in one local church include Acts 14:23, Acts 20:17, 1 Timothy 4:14, 1 Timothy 5:17, and James 5:14.
Why is it important?
God gifts churches with elders to
- feed God’s sheep God’s word (Jn. 21:15-17),
- guide the sheep (1 Tim. 4:16; 1 Pet. 5:3, Heb. 13:7),
- and protect the sheep from attackers (Acts 20:27-29; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; Tit. 1:9),
- while protecting both themselves and the church through the wisdom of their plurality (Prov. 11:14; 24:6).
The bottom line? Biblical church leadership is important because without it, God’s people are like sheep without shepherds.