When Your Thinking is Rigid, Change is Hard

Thursday is for Making Disciples

Bike Riding DogI saw this video about two months ago. Then one of my elders sent it to me again after a discussion at our elder’s meeting on the difference between how the American Church thinks of the role of pastors and the way the New Testament depicts that role.

Summary: They are two radically different ways of thinking about the role of a pastor and they cannot be reconciled. 

“The contemporary, church-board concept of eldership is irreconcilably at odds with the New Testament’s definition of eldership. According to the New Testament concept, elders [plural] lead the church, teach and preach the Word, protect the church from false teachers, exhort and admonish the saints in sound doctrine, visit the sick and pray, and judge doctrinal issues.”

A Mentor’s Guide to Biblical Eldership,
Alexander Strauch, p. 11

I made the following points at the elder’s meeting.

  • This is a radical shift from how American Christians generally think about pastors and elders.
  • The Bible sees churches being led by elders (plural), not by Senior or Lead Pastors.
  • American churches see them being led by a Pastor (singular) and perhaps guided or consulted by Elders.
  • The American church separates the role of pastor from elder. The Bible does not.
  • We know this (intellectually). We don’t understand this.

Which is where this video comes in. Watch it; it is kind of shocking, and fun and very insightful. There is a question after the video that I would love to get your thoughts on.


  • Is the American church stuck in a faulty ways of thinking on not just pastoral roles but disciple-making, which is supposed to be our primary task in the world?

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