Gospel Eldership (Book Review)
In various ways, leaders will emerge in every church. And most pastors want to be intentional about developing and shaping them. Pastors want and church members need men rooted and grounded in the gospel so they can lead the church well. The healthiest churches I know are led by men who are treasuring Christ and are captured and transformed by the gospel.
Church leadership is no small task. And it requires more than just good management. Thune says, “If the gospel truly is “the power of God for salvation” (Roman 1:16), and is constantly “bearing fruit and growing” within us (Colossians 1:6), then each elder must be strong in the gospel.” That is the vision and goal of Robert H. Thune’s new book Gospel Eldership coming out on April 4, 2016.
Gospel Eldership walks future leaders (or current elders) through the biblical concept of servant leadership and stresses the importance of character development before looking at the specific duties of elders. This books helps men see their own sin (or “heart idolatry” as Thune calls it) and helps apply the good news of the Gospel to it. Thune aims to see men develop gospel skillfulness so they can swiftly, effectively, and clearly apply the gospel to others. “Gospel Eldership is designed to intentionally raise up the type of men who can and should lead the church.”
I admire the fact that Gospel Eldership treats the role of elder carefully and biblically and is written from a theologically complementarian viewpoint. That simply means that God designed men and women to complement each other. Men and women are equal in dignity, value and worth, but have different roles in the home and in the church. And while I am a woman reading this book, and I will never be an elder, I enjoyed reading this because it brought new insight about the role. And I am inspired to help, support, submit to, and pray for the elders in my church.
Thune’s book offers 10- lessons that combine theological training with spiritual formation in order to share future leaders at the heart level. And it has practical exercises to help put concepts to work in real life situations.
One aspect of Gospel Eldership that I appreciate is that it can be used in one- on-one discipleship or in a small group setting. This book is appropriate for use in any church- from the smallest to the largest ones.
The author, Robert H. Thune is the founding pastor of Coram Deo Church in Omaha, Nebraska. He has coauthored The Gospel-Centered Life and the Gospel-Centered Community. Bob holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma and Reformed Theological Seminary. He and his wife Leigh are the parents of four energetic children. In addition to his work at Coram Deo, he coaches and trains church planters through the Acts 29 Network.
I would recommend this book, because it helped me better understand the role of an elder and I believe it will serve the body of Christ as new leaders are being raised up. When I set this book down after reading it, I was incredibly grateful for the the elders that serve at my church. I have seen much of what Thune talks about modeled in my own church. This book also stirred me up to pray for the elders in my local church because Gosepel Eldership brought fresh insight to many of the things they face on a daily basis.
Pre-order Gospel Eldership before April 4, 2016 and you can get 40% the retail price! That’s only $8.99.