A question for the leaders and readers: What’s the best best book you have read on eldering?  What’s the most helpful and accessible book on what we are to do, how we are to do it, and what we should look for in future elders?  While there are many great church-help and elder-help books, the best place is scripture, two chapters from the New Testament (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1).  The ethos of an elder and the specific characteristics found in these chapters are both timeless and timely. 

Enter David Mathis, the executive editor of Desiring God.  David has written an extremely helpful and practical book from 1 Timothy entitled ‘Workers for Your Joy.’ This past Tuesday, December 5, 2023, the North City(Region 3) gathering had the chance to Zoom in with him to hear four overarching characteristics of eldering:  being humble, whole, honorable, and happy in the call to pastoral ministry. David is not only a writer, speaker,  professor, and editor; he’s a pastor and church planter. His insights from both scripture and pastoring experience make this book a must-read for anyone wanting to be strengthened in this great work. 

Not only was this sharpening for elders in the room, but it also was helpful in thinking about the discipleship and intentional development of future leaders. “The prerequisites for eldering aren’t what we do in order to get into the work, but they are the essence of what is needed in elders to do the actual work as they lead!” 

For anyone interested in learning more, this book is a must-read for elders and elder teams! May God bless us in rekindling our hearts and strengthen our hands for the work of ministry.