First Among Equals 4

Series: First Among Equals
Presenter: Alexander Strauch

Fourth in this series, the speaker warns against abuses of this doctrine and outlines some practical advantages of practicing “first among equals.”

Audio File
Lecture Outline
Detailed Outline

Remember It

Contemplate these questions, then click on each question to see the answer.
1. What are the two extremes to the concept of equality and diversity within the eldership?
1) The first extreme forces all elders to be completely equal in giftedness and public exposure, to refuse to acknowledge special giftedness and calling among the elders; 2) The other extreme is to create a whole new office superior to the eldership, to make one elder the final arbitrator of all decisions, and to give special privileges to one leader - for example, the privilege to preach, to baptize, or to administer the Lord’s supper. This creates the Protestant priest.
2. What are the advantages to the principle of “first among equals” to the eldership and to the church?
It allows for functional, gift-based diversity within the eldership team without creating an official, superior office over fellow elders.

Discuss It

  1. How does “first among equals” make the eldership more effective in its pastoral ministry?
  2. How does “first among equals” protect a highly gifted leader and teacher?

Digging Deeper

Read the article “Equality and Diversity within the Eldership” by Alexander Strauch