Dealing with Tradition and Opposition to Plural Leadership

It is easier to train a new church than to change an established one.

  • Existing churches often resist change, especially if they have a long history of traditions, or have roots in a conventional denominational structure.
  • A new work can readily be established on biblical principles of plural leadership by elders because this is clearly supported in the Acts and Epistles.
  • Young believers will quickly observe that there is no support in the NT for a division between clergy and laity.
  • There is no need to argue about church leadership. Scripture is overwhelmingly in support of a plural leadership of men from the congregation called “elders.”

Practical way to deal with those who are opposed to church leadership by elders

  1. Turn to the many NT passages that mention “elders” (plural) of the “church” (singular). Then ask them to show biblical support for the single clergyman.
  2. Next note what passages those who hold the position of a single clergyman (Pastor; Minister) must use to defend it. This in itself is a powerful argument against the position
  3. Read testimonies from those who follow the practice of having a single clergyman over the church as they describe some of the weaknesses they have encountered.
  4. Prayer, humility, patience, are key to the process. There is no cause for pride, judgmental spirit, unkindness etc. Remember that for anyone to see these principles requires the grace of God to open eyes


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