This is a collection of supporting links, reading and resources for our class in Church Governance. I plan to add to this blog as we go; this course is a work in progress. Here is the course Abstract and Bibliography for starters. I may post sessions in the next term. Sorry, there is no college-level credit for this class. . .
Our conduct as a local church must be ordered, first and foremost, by Scripture. It is important therefore to ensure that the local church is structured in a way closely conforming to the normal New Testament pattern ("Paul appointed elders in all the churches," Acts 14:23). Beginning with a survey of OT patterns of leadership and the NT teaching on church order, we come to clear definitions of all of the words, offices, roles as specified in the New Testament.
We will review the theology of The Church (Ecclesiology), organizations outside the local church and clarify roles and how they are described. For example, are our deacons really elders in the New Testament sense, or are they deacons? And who are the trustees and other church officers in the New Testament understanding of things? Are they the "deacons"? If so, how do they fit into the governing structure of the church? How does all of this relate to the role of the congregation in the operation of the local church?
The church should not be dependent on a few as the guardians of the vision. We need to develop an ongoing leadership team where the theological distinctives, the philosophy of ministry and the vision of the future can be rooted more durably.
We need to clarify the role of women in relation to ministry. Why are there deaconesses? How do they relate to Biblical deacons? Could it be that terminology has isolated women from the very role (deacon) where they should flourish? We need to provide more thorough and consistent care for members with special needs and more consistent discipline for delinquent members. That this is not done as well as it should be is owing partly to a confusion of roles. Who is responsible, Biblically, for this church-wide care of people and for following through on disciplinary procedures?
Croft, B., & Reeder, H. L. (2016). Biblical church revitalization: solutions for dying & divided churches. Fearn, Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications Ltd.
Davis, A. M. (2017). Revitalize: biblical keys to helping your church come alive again. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Dever, M., & Alexander, P. (2005). The deliberate church: building your ministry on the gospel. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Dodson, J. K. (2012). Gospel-centered discipleship. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
Geisler, N. L. (2011). Systematic theology: in one volume. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House.
Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1987). Revival. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.
Mohler, R. A. (2015). A guide to church revitalization. Louisville, KY: SBTS Press.
Rainer, T. S. (2014). Autopsy of a deceased church: 12 ways to keep yours alive. Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group.
Sanders, J. Oswald. Spiritual leadership: principles of excellence for every believer. Chicago, Moody Press, 1994.
Swindoll, C. R., & Zuck, R. B. (2003). Understanding Christian theology. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Thiessen, H. C. (2001). Lectures in systematic theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Working with Your Church Constitution. (2011, April 29). Retrieved August 20, 2017, from https://www.garbc.org/commentary/working-with-your-church-constitution/
A New Path to Revitalization. (2017, March 7). Retrieved August 20, 2017, from http://rbchurchplanting.org/a-new-path-to-revitalization/
Rethinking the Governance Structure at Bethlehem Baptist Church. (1987, August 13). Retrieved August 20, 2017, from http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/rethinking-the-governance-structure-at-bethlehem-baptist-church