For readers of this blog who do not attend Fulkerson Park Baptist Church, I thought you might be interested in knowing that Fulkerson unanimously approved and adopted the new Constitution which officially establishes us as an elder-led congregation. You can read the Constitution and see flow charts illustrating the church government structure, leadership approval structure, elder selection process, and authority structure here.
I praise the Lord for his goodness in granting our people a heart to follow his word in regards to biblical church leadership. The next steps in the process of transitioning Fulkerson to biblical eldership are: (1) Some R & R for the current leadership team (meaning the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors for some of us next week and pizza the week after that!); (2) Much prayer and discussion in the coming months as we begin selecting potential candidates for eldership; (3) Fleshing out the practicalities of an examination and training process for potential elders; (4) Beginning interviews with men unanimously selected by the current leadership team.
Sounds like Churches of Christ to me. I hope you find it beneficial.
Actually, it is quite different. Our model is quite baptistic.
Brian, isn't this more a Presbyterian style of church government? Our independent evangelical church has a very similar model, by the way.
Presbyterians have a form of eldership that usually (I think) distinguishes between ruling elders and teaching elders and are part of a larger regional presbytery.
Our model is more in line with the baptistic style of eldership followed by Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis (where John Piper is) or Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D. C. (Mark Dever).
Both of these guys, btw, have written much on elders and have given some defense for its baptistic roots.
Praise the Lord for this UNANIMOUS move, Brian. Our church has been praying for you and Fulkerson that the Lord might grant unity around this!!
We will continue to pray as you prepare to select elders. Keep us posted.
PS - having reviewed, and even commented on the suggested changes, this puts Fulkerson right in line with Baptistic practice for church governance. Brian's list of recommended resources to study the issue are very helpful.
Books on Elders
I also recommend for those serious about understanding this issue and what Fulkerson has implemented that they get and read Perspectives on Church Government - Five Views of Church Polity. In it, five views are presented and Dr. James White presents the case for a plurality of elders leading in the local church, showing the distinctives between the Baptist view and the Presbyterian view. You can order it here:
Excellent - so glad the vote went well. More SBC churches going this way as well is what I am hearing.
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