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Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons (9Marks) [Kindle Edition]

Thabiti M. Anyabwile
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Any church leader knows the qualifications for elders and deacons are articulated in the Bible, but that same leader also knows that actually finding other leaders who fulfill the biblical qualifications is difficult. While many books analyze and debate the finer points of church government, few have been written on both elders and deacons, and fewer still successfully show how to identify and reproduce legitimate leaders and willing servants throughout the ranks of the church body.

Thabiti Anyabwile writes from his expertise as a pastor and an elder as well as from his experience of being led by faithful men—men who saw in him the fundamental qualities listed in Scripture and invested their time, energy, and love into grooming him to take their place. Balancing thoughtful analysis of pertinent passages with thorough application for practical use in a contemporary context, Anyabwile answers the questions, “Who should we look for to lead and serve in the church?” and “What should they do to fulfill their calling?” Most helpful, perhaps, are the lists “Observations to make” and “Questions to ask,” which are provided for each characteristic described. Rather than exacerbating the controversial questions surrounding these issues, this book provides meaningful action points that will prove effective for a wide range of interpretations.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 414 KB
  • Print Length: 178 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433529920
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (31 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006RKJP3A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #167,164 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anybody in the free church 22 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderfully practical book aimed at making sure we have the right sort of men in leadership. Contradicts the myth that all elders need some sort of mystical calling to ministry when Paul's letter to Timothy sets out some rather more tangible guidelines. Wide - angled view of the subject - thoroughly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 Nov 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
a very helpful well balanced treatment of the subject.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Developing Leaders to the Glory of God 20 Jan 2012
By Dr. David Steele - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A few years ago, I heard Thabiti Anyabwile preach at Together for the Gospel in Louisville. I remember being impressed with his pastoral heart, theologically precise mind, and his feet that were obviously set on obeying and glorifying God. His newest book confirms my first impressions at T4G.

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons reads like cliff notes for men who either aspire to serve, or are currently serve in either office. And "cliff notes" is not a criticism; rather it is written in the most positive vein. This does not suggest watered-down content or "weak tea." Rather, it affirms the qualifications and responsibilities that emerge in Scripture for faithful elders and deacons. It reminds me of Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch - but tends to be less technical. While Anyabwile's treatment is theologically and exegetically accurate, it veers away from some of the more technical language and arguments that appear in Strauch.

The book is arranged in three parts. Part one and part two survey deacon and elder qualifications - in short how to find faithful leaders for the household of God. Part three summarizes the job description of pastors:

Elders Refute Error
Elders Avoid Myths and Train for Godliness
Elders Hope in God
Elders Command
Elders Let No One Despise Their Youth
Elders Set an Example
Elders Teach
Elders Grow
Elders Watch Their Life
Elders Watch Their Doctrine

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons is a welcome and needed reminder for churches who are set on living, leading, and shepherding to the glory of God. This is an important book and deserves to be read. Highly recommended!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, Practical, and Encouraging. 27 Feb 2012
By Jeff Tell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I knew this book was sorely needed when one person in our church suggested making someone else a deacon so that they would start coming to church more regularly!

This book fills a void in a much needed way. It is practical, and easily readable. Anyabwile walks through the texts that describe the requirements for elders and deacons, and gives help to those in churches who are looking for the next generation of rising leadership. Anyabwile ends each chapter with practical questions (with explanations) to help you locate those who are leadership material, and what sorts of things you should be looking for in their lives.

Although the purpose of this book seems rather narrow, in reality it will be helpful in a much broader range of applications. The descriptions of a faithful elder and deacon are really just descriptions of a mature Christian, and therefore this could be a useful tool for discipleship. It is certainly also a useful and convicting book for those already serving in these capacities. Carefully walking through each of the qualifications is a useful bit of accountability, encouragement, and admonition.

If I had to nitpick, I would wish that the book was more broadly and explicitly Christ centered. Anyabwile does give fair warning in the introduction that no elder or deacon is perfect, and that we must always undertake these offices in full reliance on the grace of God given to us in Christ. But still, given the nature of the book, as one that undertakes to describe the quality of person who is qualified to serve in the church, I believe that it could have been edifying to refer to our dependence on Jesus more regularly. No one in themselves is fit to serve as an under-shepherd in Christ's church. But in his grace, God calls men to serve him in his church, and to model Christ as they do so. Still, this is a useful book that I'm sure I will be referring back to regularly.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extremely Useful Primer For Biblical Leadership in the Church 17 Jan 2012
By David P. Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this book experienced pastor Thabiti Anyabwile writes three sections on how to find deacons, elders, and specify what their roles are in the church. Pastor Anyabwile gives the pertinent biblical requirements for deacons and elders, and gives numerous helps on biblical qualifications, traits to watch for, and questions and observations for examining whether or not those under consideration are wise choices for the respective offices of elder and deacon.

I think the best way to use this book is to use it as Thabiti Anyabwile intended it to be used:

"First, use it prayerfully. Pray for pastors and elders as they shepherd and serve the sheep. Pray for more men to be raised up in the congregation for this important work. Pray that the Lord would pour out his grace on those serving these tasks. Pray that the members of the church would show genuine appreciation, love, and care for their shepherds. Pray that all the men in the church would grow in the qualities that elders should possess. Pray that men would have a godly desire to give their lives in serving the body of Christ as servant-leaders.

Second, use this book practically. The book does not delve into a lot of detailed argumentation, hoping instead to make application easily and quickly. I want the book to help in actually doing something--identifying and training elders--not just considering something. Put the suggestions into practice, and improve them with the experience and wisdom that come from your particular church setting and other faithful leaders.

Finally, use the book pedagogically. That is, use it to teach and instruct. Perhaps a church needs to select its first elders after a period of planning and study. Pastors may wish to use these brief chapters to `flesh out' for the average church member which qualities the congregation as a whole needs to be looking and praying for in their prospective elders. Examination and pastoral search committees may find similar help."

Take it from my own experience in over twenty years of pastoring - you want to get all the help you can in the wise selection of, praying for, training of, and role implementation of your elders and deacons - because the church will ultimately rise to great heights or fall to low depths based on the quality, character, and biblical execution of it's leaders.

I highly recommend this book for church planters, existing leadership teams, solo pastors, deacons, and elders. It serves as a concise handbook that you can use to strengthen your existing leadership, develop future leaders, and most certainly add health and value to Christ's church as you seek to be a good steward of its most valuable resources.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chew the meat spit out the bones 5 Jan 2013
By Pastor John - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an easy and fast read, and was profitable, although I don't think there was anything earthshaking or super insightful in the book. I think it is a good resource for perspective elders and deacons to see how they stack up against the qualifications of the office. My chief concern about the book is that there is a lot of talk about someone being "the deacon/elder of _____________" which is really a dangerous way to go about ministry, and can lead to appointing someone to a spiritual office that they are unqualified for because it is unbiblically attached to a skill they are competent at. I also found some of the author's analogies a little flippant, and could lead an undiscerning reader to not treat the office of elder or deacon with the gravity it deserves.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Church Needs Better Leaders, Here's How to Find Them 29 Sep 2012
By Robert S. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First let me share a word to the author: Thank you. Your love for our Lord, His bride (the church), and God's Word, shone through on every page. If the church has a great need today, none surpasses her need for biblical, God-ordained leadership. In clear, compelling, transferable, and practical principles, Thabiti defines the leadership that God calls for and the only church leadership that God will bless. He writes to pastors to help them find other elders/pastors/overseers to shepherd God's flock, and he hits the bulls-eye. I pray that many will read this book twice--no, habitually--like we pull our favorite movies off the shelf to watch over and over again.

Seasoned pastors/elders who read it will come away humbled and reminded of the necessity to depend upon God's grace and to remain intimately transparent with other leaders in the church. That's a helpful thing. Interns will be encouraged with the high calling of the pastorate and at the same time convicted that it can only be gained by a special work of God's grace. That's a good thing too. But I pray that congregations will read it, especially those in the urban context in which I serve. The church needs to raise the bar of leadership beyond a man's charisma, oratorical skills, and administrative prowess, and start demanding good old-fashioned Men of God--men who've been with Jesus and whose lives reflect it. Today, that wouldn't just be a good thing, but in our crisis of falling leaders, it is a necessary thing.

Job well done, Pastor Anyabwile!
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