Anglican Elders?: Locally shared pastoral leadership in English Anglican Churches
Plural eldership and Anglican polity have long been held to be incompatible. Anglicans have inherited a sole presybterate as the normal pattern for congregational leadership, yet faithfulness to the patterns of leadership described in the New Testament lead evangelicals to look for ways to share ministry and leadership locally. The 'one-man band' model of ministry is simply not biblical. It is also not psychologically sustainable in the face of the growing demands of pastoral leadership. Plural leadership is desirable, but how can it be reconciled to Anglican polity?
This study explores the biblical and historical background to locally shared pastoral leadership within an Anglican context. It goes on to describe the experience of nine UK Anglican pastors who have established a pastoral leadership team that functions as a plural eldership. Practical lessons are drawn for today's church, with a particular focus on how this model enhances the church's ministry of making disciples.
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