Church Plants and Elders
Bob Thune has two great posts on elders and church plants over at The Resurgance Blog. Bob brings up something that many times is glossed over when planning out how to begin a church: when and who to install as elders and what to do about accountability when you don’t have elders in place.
Church planting can be a lonely place, you spend a great deal of time working to start something from scratch based off of a calling that God is many times progressively revealing to you. It can feel like a target is on your back (and your back alone) as you go about developing a team, lining up places to meet, meeting new people, fundraising, and all the other things that just need to be done yesterday. It is incredibly easy to begin to place people in positions that they are not spiritually ready for in order to take some of the weight off of our shoulders.
While the idea of having elders that you can rely upon to make decisions is incredibly attractive, we need to be disciplined enough to realize that plugging people into places they are not ready for will not only be disastrous for the church, but for you as well. There is a great deal of wisdom in going slow and being disciplined when it comes to putting people into leadership roles. In the meantime, we need to ensure that we have people around us that we can be honest with.
Thune suggests that we surround ourselves with people who will hold us accountable morally, financially, doctrinally, and in our leadership. How have you done this in your ministry? What other areas do church planters (and pastors of established churches) need to be held accountable in?