Most of us give little thought to matters of government until order breaks down. When institutions critical to life are poorly governed, people are exposed to danger and deprived of the innumerable benefits that sound structure and skilled leadership produce. This is true of government in the home, in the school, in the community, and in the church.
In Well Ordered, Living Well: A Field Guide to Presbyterian Church Government, Guy Waters correctly contends that “we all need church government to live our Christian life well” (ix). The ensuing pages give clear biblical instruction on the church — its members, its officers, its assemblies, and the ordination of men to the offices of the church.
About the church’s officers, Waters writes:
“Many find it easy to criticize their leaders, but not so easy to pause and to kneel in prayer for them. The officers of the church carry a heavy weight on their shoulders — the burdens of leadership. Satan targets” them. He wants to frustrate them, to derail their work and to bring them down, if he can. We should not compound the elders’ difficulties but be a help to them. One simple but important way to help them is to pray regularly for them” (50).
Church government should be a matter of concern for every Christian. For those just being awakened to its importance, I can think of no better introduction than Well Ordered, Living Well.