Series: Elders SHOPNOTES: A Collection of Essays

Elders SHOPNOTES: A Collection of Essays: Volume 1: Biblical Foundations

Chuck Gianotti Jack Spender


This particular volume which you have in your hands, “Biblical Foundations”, is comprised of essays on the biblical teaching of eldership in general. Not meant to be exhaustive in covering everything on the subject, we have sought here to address some of the issues we have come across in our travels among God’s people and elders in various places.


Many elders today work responsible fulltime jobs, have families, and are involved in various ministries. The busy elder has precious little time for self-study and further training. In addition, some have been thrust into the role of elder with virtually no training. This problem is compounded by the fact that much of the practical teaching for pastoral leadership is contained in resources that are directed to “The Pastor” of a traditional church, so is limited in its applicability to secularly-employed elders.

Elders’ ShopNotes (ESN) began at the end of 1999 to help address this concern. After conducting elder-training sessions in various locations with many assemblies and many elders and potential elders, it became obvious that very little has been written for elders, particularly at the practical level. Much has been penned on the biblical warrant for elder-led church government and the qualifications for elders, which have been very useful. But, during our training sessions, we fielded many questions regarding practical applications, the how-to’s of being an elder: for example, how to conduct a funeral, how to visit a sick person, how to resolve conflict among elders, how can I find time to grow in my understanding of being an elder? The idea of ESN arose to meet that need.

Elders’ ShopNotes is a bi-monthly ministry letter in both English and Spanish and is distributed upon request to close to 1,000 subscribers in North and South American as well as some places in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and other locations. Each issue contains three to four articles aimed at the needs of elders. They are not designed to solve problems or settle doctrinal issues. Rather, ESN is designed to strengthen and equip elders so they can do the work of solving problems and of settling doctrinal issues. The name “ShopNotes” has the connotation of helping a carpenter learn to use his tools well and effectively. So, ESN is designed, so to speak, to help elders use the biblical “tools” of eldering well and effectively.
These articles provide:

1) “bite-size” ministry, readily digestible for the average working elder whose time is at a premium
2) foundational teaching on biblical eldership
3) helpful how-to’s that are practical for shepherding the congregation
4) basic biblical leadership principles
5) encouragement for elders’ wives in their unique life situation of being married to an elder.

Chuck Gianotti

Chuck Gianotti, Th.M. (Dallas Theological Seminary), elder, teacher, team member of Biblical Eldership Resources, author, itinerate preacher, husband of the love of his life–Mary, a father of two grown children, grandfather, canoeing aficionado, outdoor enthusiast, woodworker.

Jack Spender

Jack came to know the Lord Jesus at age 7 at Camp Berea (NH); He and his wife Ruth have been Serving full time in the Lord’s work since 1972. Jack’s main efforts have been in planting new assemblies, Bible teaching, discipleship and leadership training. They live in Bethany Conneticut.

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