committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







Elders in Congregational Life
Dr. Phil A. Newton


A biblically functioning church requires much more than skillful organization and clever techniques. It calls for intentional devotion to the New Testament model of the church. In this practical book, Phil Newton gives a definitive and biblical answer to elder based-leadership.

Self-government and autonomy are long-standing cherished traditions of most evangelical churches. Ideally this means each member participates in decision making, but in reality pure congregationalism is unwieldy and unworkable. Pastors try to solve the problem by assuming more and more authority themselves. Neither approach is biblical.

A biblically functioning church requires intentional devotion to the New Testament model of church leadership. In this practical book, experienced pastor Phil Newton examines this biblical model of leadership by explaining the necessity of elder plurality and how it functions in a congregational setting. Newton presents the history of elder plurality in Baptist life from personal experience, expounds three biblical texts to shed light on the New Testament model for spiritual leaders, and provides answers to commonly asked questions.


The Lord's church, His bride, is comprised of not merely a list of individuals who are redeemed and being sanctified.  Rather, in the society of the saints is something that seems more human than in the life outside of it.  And its radiance should shine out of our life together.

This was the plan from the beginning.  From eternity past, God enjoyed full fellowship with Himself
?Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In the fullness of His love, He made the world, and then came Himself to redeem it.

In cooperation with South Woods Baptist Church, The Reformed Reader will donate all purchases of this book to the Mission field in South Asia whose goal is to have 300 copies for the churches they are planting in that area (location withheld for security reasons).  Click on book cover to purchase.

Phil A. Newton (D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary; M.Div., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, where he has been since 1987. In ministry for more than thirty years, he also serves as adjunct professor at several schools, including Crichton College in Memphis. Phil and his wife, Karen, live in Germantown, TN.

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