We live in an age increasingly cynical about leadership—some of it for good reason, much of it simply the mood of our times. Still, the risen Christ continues the counter-cultural work he’s done for two millennia: he appoints leaders in his church—not as a burden, but as a gift to his people. “He gave . . . the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:11–12).
What is the nature, calling, and work of local church leadership? Pastor and seminary professor David Mathis considers the elder qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 not only as prerequisites but as daily necessities to carry out joyfully. This accessible guide aims to serve current and aspiring pastors and elders, as well as church members who want to know the expectations for their leaders and how to pray for them. From the words of Christ to Peter and Paul and Hebrews, the New Testament casts a vision for church leaders that is good news to churches and leaders alike: joyful workers for the joy of their people.