Why We Need the ‘Plurality Principle’

May 18, 2021 by

by Sam Storms, The Gospel Coalition:

With Dave Harvey’s publication of The Plurality Principle: How to Build and Maintain a Thriving Church Leadership Team, we can ask, “Aren’t there more pressing and urgent issues that call for our attention?” After all, among the many “-ologies,” shouldn’t we emphasize Christology (the study of Jesus Christ), soteriology (the study of salvation), eschatology (the study of the end times), and hamartiology (the study of sin)? Is ecclesiology (the study of the church) terribly important? Does it practically matter all that much?

My answer, and the answer Dave Harvey offers in this excellent book, is a resounding yes.

Bad Ecclesiology Hurts People

I once heard J. I. Packer say that “bad theology hurts people.” So too does bad ecclesiology. That statement may catch you by surprise. Perhaps you struggle to believe the way a church is organized, led, and governed could cause much damage.

And yet unbiblical leadership structures can wreak havoc on the people of God and bring reproach on the name of Jesus Christ. A failure to honor the clear teaching of Scripture on how a church should be governed is a recipe for disaster. Simply put, as Harvey repeatedly asserts, the quality of elder plurality determines the spiritual health of a church.

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