Healthy Churches needs healthy leaders: Ministry Philosophy and Biblical Eldership


Crosslands is delighted to announce the launch of two new study modules:  MInistry Philosophy and Biblical Eldership. These courses have been created with church leadership teams in mind, and are designed to help you reflect and grow together in healthy, gospel centered, missional-focused leadership. The modules are available to purchase individually online, or you can study as a group at a discounted rate by applying to study as a group.

Ministry Philosophy

Imagine you’re recruiting a new member of staff for your church. How would you describe your approach to ministry and church life? What would you want to know about their approach to ensure they are a good fit? What principles do you want to be guiding their decision-making as they plan new activities?

A ‘philosophy of ministry’ or ‘ministry framework’ describes your approach to ministry, how you go about applying your theological principles to the issues you face and how you decide what it is you are going to do in your personal ministry or in your ministry as a church. A philosophy of ministry does not refer to the foundational theological convictions of your church – the beliefs expressed in your creed or statement of faith. Nor does it describe what you or your church does or plans to do. It sits between these two things; it’s the bridge that connects them.

You probably already have a ‘philosophy of ministry’, even if you’ve never heard the term before. You have a set of assumptions about how ministry should be done; both your personal ministry and the ministry of your church.  Crosslands’ aim in this module is to help you to make this approach explicit, test it against the word of God, and ensure you have a shared philosophy among your leadership.

The module is built on the following convictions:

  • the word of God is to be central to discipleship and mission;

  • the local church is the primary context for discipleship and mission;

  • change happens by grace through faith; and

  • mission should shape everything we do as Christians and churches

We hope that it will help you to identify a philosophy of ministry that reflects your current church community, your missional context, and your theological or denominational distinctives.

You can purchase the Ministry Philosophy course here.

Biblical Eldership

Church is not simply a vehicle for ministry or a convenient structure for Christian activity.    Church is the people of God, the bride of Christ. The way churches are led is very significant for our flourishing and mission as God’s people.  God has a great deal to say about this, and as his people we need to study that and put it into practice.

Biblical Eldership is church leadership as described in the bible, and it addresses character, role, behaviour and practice.   Throughout scripture, selection of leaders is always very significant. Character qualifications are the key thing, as well as their understanding of the gospel, their ability to bring the gospel to bear on people’s lives, their ability to encourage people with sound doctrine or to refute those who oppose it.   These are vital to the health of the church, so selecting and training qualified men as elders is crucial.

Training is a vital part of this picture.  When qualified men are identified as having the potential to be elders in their church, they will need to be equipped and tested:  to understand the role of elder, to learn to work together as a team of elders, and to become skilled in how they relate to the congregation they oversee.  And experienced elders often recognise that they have more to learn, and have a desire to be learning and growing together as a team of elders: how can we better work as an eldership?  How can we spur each other on? How can we complement each others’ gifts in the way we lead?

Crosslands’ module on Biblical Eldership can be studied as an individual, but it is primarily designed as a team learning resource.   We hope that you will use it as part of your programme for preparing men who may become elders in the future, or study it with your current team of elders to help you reflect on what it means to work together as an eldership as you shepherd God’s people together.  

You can purchase the Biblical Eldership course here.

Beth Butler