by Chuck Gianotti
Biblical Eldership Resources has grown considerably in the last few years, with many new aspects to this ministry and active efforts in many places around the world.
In 2001, we began developing a strategy to promote the biblical model of local church leadership by a plurality of qualified men. There was, and continues to be, a growing interest in this topic across denominational lines and geographical borders.
The seminal book Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch has become a classic exposition on the subject and required reading in many Bible colleges and seminaries around the world. Building on that effort, a team of like-minded people has worked together combining years of study and experience, both at the pastoral level and in educational contexts, to create Biblical Eldership Resources.
Let me introduce our team:
Currently our core team consists of Alexander Strauch (Colorado), Bob Deffinbaugh (Texas), Kevin Fitzgerald (Missouri), Viji Roberts (Ontario), David Anderson (Colorado), Chuck Gianotti (New York).
We have a top-notch technical and graphical team of Matt Williams (our web developer); Andy Bennet, Jayson Robinson, and Luis de la Rosa (our simulcast production team); and Jon Milligan (graphic artist). Barry Lawrence weekly combs the internet for useful articles on leadership issues to create our weekly Leadership Links.
Our regional reps have grown in number; these are the ones who promote, translate, and contextualize BER for regions around the world. Our reps are: John Field (Argentina and the Spanish-speaking world), Omar Garrido (Colombia), Gabriel Hyacinth (Trinidad & Tobago), Robert Quay (Asia-Pacific), Rod Jones (Italy), and Marco Vedder (Germany). We have others involved in a less formal way, working on French and Hindi translations. Our Spanish version of the website is ready to go live within a few weeks.
Our support team the Lord has provided has been invaluable: Jay Brady (finances), Jen Gay and Lisa Corbett (admin support), and Erica Fitzgerald (editing and online education development).
We offer the following ministries and resources for your benefit:
- BER Website. With around 250 videos custom-created for this ministry, our website covers all aspects of biblical eldership, including basic teaching, how to transition to elders in your church governance, and how to become more effective in shepherding God’s people. This material can be used individually, in groups, or in mentor relationships. Many elder groups include our videos and discussion questions in their elders’ meetings. Our web host and developer tells us the BER website is one of the largest and most actively visited sites his team works with. Google analytics show that users from all around the world are accessing the BER website daily.
- Elder Training Programs. We offer training programs for both existing and potential elders. These range from a mentoring plan for one-on-one discipling toward eldership, to more rigorous, in-depth studies using biblical eldership materials.
- School of the Shepherds. Soon to go live, SOTS is a six-course online certificate-based curriculum designed to prepare individuals with a foundational and biblical basis for elder leadership and shepherding.
- Annual Simulcast Conference. This is a dynamic one-day conference produced live in a single location, but live streamed over the internet to satellite sites across North America and selected other countries. All our past conferences have been recorded and are available on the BER website in a form accessible for individual use or for use in conducting a local seminar or conference.
- Spiritual Maturity: Based on Elder Qualifications. This book outlines a blueprint for spiritual maturity and has been published in four languages (English, Spanish, French, and Romanian), with other translations in the works. It is available in both print and digital form (Kindle, iBook, and PDF) in our BER bookstore.
- Weekly Blog. “Passing the Baton” reaches over 4,700 subscribers. In this we provide highlights of available ministry resources, recommended online reading (“Leadership Links”), and articles to encourage and challenge elders. We also have a presence on Twitter (@Eldership) and Facebook.
- BER Qualifications App. Our free mobile app is available for iOS (search the Apple app store for “Elder Qualifications”) and Android (search the Google Play store for “Biblical Eldership Qualifications”).
- BER Bookstore. We have selected resources available for sale on the website related to elders and leadership in the local church.
- Consultations and Conference Speaking. BER team members are available to share what we have learned over the years and through many interactions with churches and leaders struggling with various issues. Every week we field questions and engage in consultations via the website, over the phone, and sometimes in person. BER speakers have been active as conference speakers in North, South, and Central America; Europe; and Asia.
- Conference Displays and Counseling. The BER team attends some of the largest Christian leadership conferences in North America, where we both display our ministry for visibility in the wider Christian community and provide pastoral counseling for many who attend these conferences in need of personal or pastoral encouragement.
- . . . and More Resources. We provide resources related to legal issues, sample by-laws and policy statements, information on local church security, and more.
Here’s how you can help us:
As you can see, Biblical Eldership Resources is an expansive and growing ministry. If you have read this far, you are a potential partner in this work, and we thank you for your interest.
If you or your church believe in this ministry, would you also consider making a financial donation to help us cover the costs of continuing this great work? If you wish to support a particular project, contact us, and we can send you the detailed list.
Some churches have told us they are committed to putting BER in their annual budget. Many individuals are giving monthly. If you want to contribute, you can do so by visiting http://biblicaleldership.com/donate/ or clicking the green button at the bottom of this email.
We value your prayers for this ministry. Please join us in asking the Lord to raise up those who share our vision for developing shepherd-elders in local churches worldwide and who have the resources to help us.
Thank you for your interest.