Redeemer Delft is led by a team of ‘elders’. We believe that this is what we see as the model set out for church leadership in the New Testament. The history of the early church (as seen in the book of Acts) shows apostles planting new churches and appointing local elders to continue the local work (e.g. Acts 14v23). These elders must meet clear strict requirements (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; Titus 2; 1 Peter 5), which can be summed up in the following definition:
“An elder is a man who is called and gifted by God, who together with the other elders has the responsibility for leading a local church, and is: shaped by apostolic ministry, able to lead himself, able to lead his family and able to lead his local church.” (PJ Smyth, The World Needs More Elders, God First, 2008, pp. 11.)
How are elders appointed?
The Biblical process is that God calls and equips them, then that calling and competence is seen by other people, and then they are recognized and set in place.
For this to happen:
- The person must recognize their calling and gifting to be an elder.
- Those who will be served by the new leader must confirm their gifting (Acts 6).
- Existing authorities (e.g. apostles) should confirm what others have seen (Acts 6; Galatians 2).