15 June 2019


By John Ollis

In some ways it is hard for our finite minds to fully embrace the awesome truth of the TRINITY, Three persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons but ONE GOD, they are co-equal working in perfect harmony at all times. We see in the Bible them working together right from creation in Genesis right throughout the Old Testament and in MANY ways even in a clearer way their tole and function in the New Testament.

Paul speaks about the “mystery” that was in the heart of God in eternity past, that is THE CHURCH which was born on the Day of Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Over the centuries there has been many forms of government promoted to determine the functioning of the Church such as : EPISCOPAL (The rule of a Bishop over many local churches). PRESBYTERIAN (The rule of a local church by a group of Elders). CONGREGATIONAL (The rule of the congregation over itself). Plus various expressions of these combined forms.

I want to suggest in this blog that it would be good to look at the TRINITY and see if there is anything to learn about church government.

Let me highlight two words that we see functioning in the Trinity.


The wisdom of God is seen in the plurality of Elderdhip because it:

  1. Safeguards a Church from the rule of one man, like Diotrephes or a monarchial bishop 3 John 9-10 a spiritual dictatorship and autocrat.
  2. Provides checks and balances in rulership and
  3. Makes a channel for the manifold wisdom of God to be released to the Body of Christ the Church and finally
  4. Provides multiple rule and feeding ministry in the local church as well as
  5. Provides a covering and protection for all Elders


The New Testament recognised and accepted both PLURALITY and CO-EQUALITY among the Eldership. However it is a co-equality of office and elders as a person, but it is NOT co-equality of Divine ability. There is a variety of personalities, degrees of spirituality and measures of God-given grace and ability within the Eldership. They are equal as persons, and equal as far as office, but there is a difference of grace-gifts given to them by the risen Head Christ. In this (in grace-gifts we can see that there will be one who is “gifted” to be the Captain of the Eldership Team (that is his function and part of his gifting and calling.. Like in a say a football team, every member is essential but it also needs a captain.

I talked to an Elder years ago, who was part of an Eldership that did not believe in having a captain (or first amongst equals) he said it was like daily crucifixion.

I am writing this blog today as I heard recently a statement that I do not believe I had ever heard before, some of my readers may know it, it was

THERE IS NO LETTER I IN THE WORD TEAM, this simple statement really got me thinking, I sure wish I had been given good clear Bible teaching on this subject when I was a student in Bible College. Only in my last church some 16 years after Graduation did I begin to understand Plurality, Twenty two years later when I began my Bible College teaching ministry and was given “Leadership” as a topic to teach I sure began to teach a more Biblical approach, my understanding has grown considerably even since those days.

For those of my readers who are in local church leadership here are some 15 ESSENTIAL KEYS for us to embrace and seek to put into practice.


  1. Recognise you are GOD -JOINED
  2. COMMITMENT to the Lord and to your fellow Elders
  3. Seek to develop a RELATIONSHIP with your fellow Elders
  4. Spend more time in PRAYER together than in business matters
  5. Seek to maintain an attitude of HUMILITY
  6. Seek to maintain a spirit of UNITY
  7. Maintain LOYALTY with your fellow Elders
  8. Like in marriage work hard at COMMUNICATION
  9. Like Jesus to us, have a FORGIVING attitude
  10. Always seek to HONOUR your fellow Elders
  11. Maintain an attitude of SERVANTHOOD
  12. Like in marriage maintain the attitude of SUBMISSION
  13. Give mutual RECOGNITION every Elder
  15. Simply be a LEADER.

Some may say all the above is idealistic and not practical, I believe with all my heart if we as a Leader maintain the Spirit of Christ in all our endeavours not just in our personal relationship with the Lord, then it can and should work, and the local church can and should be even more effective in its desire to fulfil the purposes of God.

Your comments would be appreciated.