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Church Elders: How to Shepherd God's People Like Jesus

(9Marks: Building Healthy Churches)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  128 reviews
Emphasizing purposeful ministry over project management, this book outlines a clear and concise job description for elders, helping church leaders to shepherd their congregations well. Part of the 9Marks Building Healthy Churches series.
Kindle Edition, 146 pages
Published April 30th 2014 by Crossway Books
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 ·  749 ratings  ·  128 reviews

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May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superb. Pastors and members alike should read it.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Church Elders is exactly what the potential reader would expect: a practical explanation and guide on what it means to be an effective elder at your church. When I began reading, I wasn't sure what to expect - I've read what the scriptures have to say about eldership - but the way Mr. Rinne expounds the text with real-life examples makes this a good resource that I am certain to reference over time. Thank you, Jeramie Rinne!
Matt Tyler
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Jereamie Rinne's book is a great concise book on church elders. It's worth reading this with those who elder with you or who you are raising up to be elders. Several chapters are excellent. My favorite chapter was his final one on making prayer a primary task of an elder.
Brennan Penner
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Good introduction

I was hoping for a simple, basic guide to eldership. This filled that purpose. I hoped to see the author contrast the role of pastor/elder and deacon but he did not.
Matthew Mitchell
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent primer on the essence of eldership in the local church.

This is just the little book on eldership that the evangelical Church needs. For years, I have searched high and low for an accessible book that introduces biblical eldership which doesnt devolve into either a technical treatise on ecclesiology nor a how-to manual that relies on debatable insights from the world of secular organizational theory. And here it finally is!

Rinne successfully avoids secondary polity and pragmatic
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I put this book down for a while, but I shouldn't have. If you're a pastor it will convict and encourage you and drive you to pray. I'd encourage every elder to read it, and it would especially helpful for young men considering pastoral ministry.
Martin Beamer
This was a very helpful and refreshing book. It is designed specifically, I think, for lay-elders in mind and I love that. You don't have to go to seminary to be an elder but you do have to study and know the office before you become an elder. This would be a great resource for anyone who desires to be an elder or even current elders for a continual testing. This is a book I will keep on my shelf and hand off to anyone thinking through the office.

The most helpful chapter for me was his last
Nicholas Varady-szabo
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jeramie Rinne does a great job of pointing to the relevant passages, think through what an Elder/Pastor should be like and presents a healthy model of shepherding in churches today. I found this a great introduction to the topic and as with the other books in the 9Marks series, well balanced, gospel centered, and practically relevant.
Jonathan Pearson
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This short book was key in helping me to understand the biblical mandate for elders and how I need to begin praying in that direction.
Solid little introduction. Im planning on using this as a first step for those expressing a desire to be elders. ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Clear, concise, and helpful. Planning to buy a copy for each of our elders.
Marc Minter
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good stuff for aspiring elders (and already active ones, too)

This is a solid, honest, and biblically faithful introduction to shepherding (being a pastor/elder) among a local church. May God raise up many men who will lead in the ways this book reminds us that God has called shepherds to lead.
Evghenii Sologubenco
Presents the case for elder-led church government. Though, the first couple chapters present a good introduction, the book does not present a good explanation for lay leaders/elders. It basically just gives this as an excepted paradigm. Closer to the end of the book the author and gives directions to the elders about personal spiritual life, discipleship, way to connect to congregation and prayer life. The feeling though, if the elders are to be qualified as described in chapters 1 and 2, i.e. ...more
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ministry
2017: This is proving every bit the versatile tool for training church leaders that I had hoped. Both our current elders and a group of younger aspiring elders have benefited from reading it together.

2016: Biblical, challenging, concise, well-packaged. Before I'd finished reading this I had already ordered copies for each of our current elders (to read through together to sharpen us in our task) plus copies to give to potential future elders.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very concise and practical guide on what makes a biblical church elder, modeled after the Chief Shepherd Jesus. I gave copies to some lay men in our congregation and the response has been very positive. The chapters on smelling like sheep and prayer were worth the small price of the book in my opinion.
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great, short, account of the role of an elder in the local church. Extremely accessible and helpful to those looking to be an elder - and those currently elders to be reminded!
Rick Dobrowolski
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great little book on church leadership. This is the type of book to put in the hands of the leaders of your church to read and discuss. It challenged me in several areas of need.
Leandro Guimarães
Very objective, practical & biblical instruction on shepherding. I would like some points to be better fundamented & developed, but nothing too grave.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Until recently, there were very few resources directed toward training elders. A few solid additions have been added to this space including Jeramie Rinnes Church Elders. The focus of the book is captured well by the subtitle, how to shepherd Gods people like Jesus.

Rinne expends his energy on the core calling of the elder: shepherding. He does so because he believes that the natural tendency of an elder is to revert to what they know, typically from the world of business. And so, by default,
Jeff Short
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pastoral, church
If you've never given the subject of elders in a local congregation serious thought, you might be surprised by how many passages in the New Testament speak to it. This book isn't an exhaustive, doctrinal defense of elders in a local church. It is more practical than that and that might be the key to this brief book's usefulness. It isn't usually a doctrinal objection people make to plural eldership, but rather a practical one. Independent Baptist churches largely abandoned the practice in the ...more
Ciaran Kelleher
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a really helpful primer and reminder on the role of elders within the local church. The prominent conviction which shapes this book is that elders are called to pastor God's flock who have been given into their care.

The strengths of this book are multitudinous but the main ones are simplicity and application. This can be read by a Christian of any age and stage and they will understand it and feel the challenge herein.

Who is the book for? For the senior pastor who is wanting to train his
Mwansa Ndemi
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The role of the Elder within the local church is one that cannot be played down. It is one that must be taken up with a prayerful heart and somber judgement. Reading this book opened my eyes even more to the necessity of praying for ones elders. They go through so much in the process of shepherding God's flock and at times the weight of the calling upon their lives might has a heavy toll on their personal and family life.

Thank God for the men he has blessed with the capability and the desire to
Mark Donald
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent shorter work on what an elder is, and what an elder does.

A lot of focus is given to the qualifications in writings on the role of an elder. Jeramie also helpfully unpacks the duties of an elder in shepherding the flock. I was just recognized as an elder at my own church so was greatly helped by reading this book. I'm challenged to consider Christ, the Chief Shepherd, and to consider how I might imitate him in caring for those who he's entrusted to me. I'm also greatly encouraged as our
Wesley Roth
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having recently been called to serve as an elder at our church (pending affirmation by the church body), this book by Pastor Rinne is a fantastic resource for someone like me. I have been a layleader in the church, focusing on teaching a children's Sunday School class, helping with VBS, leading a Life Group (Bible Study) and also have filled the pulpit once and possibly again next year.

This is a practical, Biblically-focused resource for men who have been called or are currently elders. It
Jeff Malcomson
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Succinct, to the point, and just right!

Rinne briefly but very astutely outlines the job description of a biblical elder, imparting helpful and essential advice along the way. The book is primarily written for the new or impending elder, but would also benefit those who seek a basic understanding of the role of elders in the local church. It is a quick read and largely based on Scripture.; not many other works are referenced. I highly recommend this concise summary of the Bible's teachings on
Chris Hecox
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, everyone in the church should read this book. This book explains why church leadership is important and how God has laid it out to be carried out in the Bible.

Uh, yeah, you are going to have a lot more respect for your church leaders after reading the expectations Jesus has for church leaders. Those who might already be elders should read this too because the weight and demand that Christ asks for is huge. There's much to give up to follow Christ, and moreso when realizing his commands
Todd Bryant
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another solid read from 9Marks and their "Building Healthy Churches" series. If there is a group putting out more solid, practical teaching on the local church than 9Marks, I don't know who it is.

I wish I had read this book 20 years ago. Like all of the BHC series books, it's not long (120 pages) and it's a relatively easy read. That said, it is quite the necessary read for a man seeking a leadership position in a church. Everything from prayer to expository preaching to the plurality of elders
Philip Tadros
This is the best book on eldering (=pastoring) I've read yet. Rinne's writing is exceptionally clear and wonderfully helpful. This is a great one-stop-shop for answering "who" and "why" and "what" and "how to" for biblical elders and church members alike. Rinne combines robust theology with practical experience and so the little book doesn't lack in practical wisdom. This brand of practical theology is priceless and I thank the author for leaving me encouraged and helped by his exposition of ...more
Joshua Reichard
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rinne does a great job at simply laying out what it looks like to be an elder. This book is short and to the point like all these 9mark books! I love how practical it is and how it makes eldership stand as a high honor that is not to be taken lightly. This is a role given by God to men who meet the qualifications and who long for this position! Anyone who wants to be an elder should read this book!
John Shields
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Biblically grounded, but brief and practical book for sharpening current or potential elders. I will have our board read this together this year. He defines the core role and responsibilities in a clear, readable way. Suggestions are offered for example but are not demanded. He is more interested in provoking reflection and discussion that facilities each group determining their own implementation strategies.
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9Marks: Building Healthy Churches (1 - 10 of 12 books)
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  • Church Discipline: How the Church Protects the Name of Jesus
  • Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus
  • Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God's Word Today
  • Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God
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“Pastors, elders, and members often misinterpret the church through business and organizational lenses.” 1 likes
“Elders shepherd churches like Jesus by teaching, leading, pursuing, serving, and modeling like Jesus.” 1 likes
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