Plurality of Elders
"A biblically qualified group of leaders who have equal authority in the local church."
We believe the bible teaches (at least) three things about church leadership:
1 - There must be a plurality of elders and/or pastors (see below)
2 - They must be qualified (I Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 2)
3 - They must be men (I Tim. 3:1-5). These instructions are non-negotiable.
Furthermore, the elders (and Pastors) at Plainfield Bible Church all have equal authority. The Scriptures view elders / pastors with the same degree of authority, therefore, so do we.
The practical outworking of having a plurality of elders, all of whom have the same authority, means that all decisions must have the full approval or unanimity of the elder board. Some may view this is impractical or unrealistic, but we believe that this approach encourages communication, protects unity and necessitates consistent prayer. In other words, if the elders are striving to please Christ and think of others before themselves (Phil. 2:5-8), then unanimity is not only possible, but in our opinion preferable.
** There are multiple texts that explicitly and implicitly instruct the local church to raise up and appoint a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23, 15:2, 15:4, 15:22-23, 20:17; James 5:14; I Peter 5:1-5)
*** The Bible uses the terms elder and overseer (i.e. shepherd / pastor) interchangeably (Acts 14:23; I Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 1:7; I Peter 5:1-4)