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Plurality. It’s a weighty word that reminds us that ideas have consequences. By plurality, I’m talking about shared leadership. It’s a way of referencing the consequential idea that leadership in the New Testament was a team enterprise, not one man’s genius. Thus, when leaders acted, it was together as a ruling body (Acts 13:1–3; 15:22–23).
Leading. Together. As one. That’s plurality. Pretty simple stuff.
Book - Quality - Plurality - Health - Church
It is simple, but not inconsequential. In my recent book, I proposed that the quality of our plurality determines the health of our church. Nothing too radical. I just meant that an eldership is a microcosm of the church. When elders share their leadership and life together, the church thrives. As the plurality goes, so goes the church.
And as I’ve been pondering that proposition, another consequential idea has surfaced as a beautiful implication: Where pluralities are strong, joy in ministry runs deep. What’s the connection between a healthy leadership plurality and joy in ministry?
Men - Plant - Churches - Slide - Plurality
Some men plant churches and slide into a plurality of elders through a slow and measured process. Not effortless, mind you, but these men have time on their side. The manuals by Strauch, Dever, or maybe Bannerman are companions to help guide their way. Others, like me, inherit a plurality almost overnight through a church crisis where my most attractive quality was that I was the only guy left to take the role.
Right away, I discovered that having a plurality of elders is not synonymous with having a team of elders. Our shared values, mutual respect, relational history, network affiliation, and constitutional responsibility did not magically make us into a band of brothers. For many, a plurality is nothing more than the names that appear in incorporating documents or under the “Elders” tab on the church website. But a team is different. It’s a leadership...
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