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The Plurality Principle: How to Build and Maintain a Thriving Church Leadership Team
Harvey, Dave

The Plurality Principle: How to Build and Maintain a Thriving Church Leadership Team

ISBN: 9781433571541
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Book Description:

Building and Sustaining a Thriving Leadership Culture

Essential to every healthy church is a biblical model of leadership. In the New Testament, church leadership is built around a team of elders working together, each bringing his own unique skills and gifts to the cause of shepherding the flock God entrusted to them. However, in many churches today the principle of plurality in leadership is often misunderstood, mistakenly applied, or completely ignored.

Dave Harvey encourages church leaders to prioritize plurality for the surprising ways that it helps churches to flourish. This book not only builds a compelling case for churches to adopt and maintain biblical elder pluralities guided by solid leadership but also supplies practical tools to help elders work together for transformation.

Read Chapter 1

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Sam Storms
Introduction: Why a Book on Plurality?
Part 1: Building a Plurality
  Chapter 1: A Plurality Primer
  Chapter 2: The Case for a "First among Equals"
  Chapter 3: Dressing for Leadership Storms: Five Hats Senior Pastors Wear
  Chapter 4: Counterfeit Pluralities
Part 2: Thriving as a Plurality
  Chapter 5: Building a Culture of Care and Accountability
  Chapter 6: Acknowledging and Sharing Power
  Chapter 7: The Plurality Tune-Up
  Chapter 8: The Joy-Boosting Delight of Shared Ministry
Appendix 1: Elders, Care for Your Senior Pastor
Appendix 2: Your Wife Is Not Your Plurality: How Much Should a Pastor Tell His Wife?
Appendix 3: What's the Best Way for a Pastor to Negotiate His Salary?
Appendix 4: Term Limits for Elders? (Jeff Robinson)


Dave Harvey (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is the president of Great Commission Collective, a church-planting ministry. Dave pastored for thirty-three years, founded, and travels widely across networks and denominations as a popular conference speaker. He is the author of When Sinners Say "I Do"; I Still Do!; Am I Called?; and Rescuing Ambition; and coauthor of Letting Go. Dave and his wife, Kimm, live in southwest Florida. He also writes at, and you can follow him on Twitter.


"In his concern to promote healthy churches and healthy pastors, Dave Harvey ensures that we understand leadership plurality and have a healthy, functioning team of elders in the local church. I'm not aware of another book that deals with this topic. The Plurality Principle is very practical and very helpful!"
--Tim Challies, blogger,

"Dave Harvey gives us another fantastic book. The Plurality Principle is enjoyable, biblical, and memorable. The fact that it is a quick read makes it all the more useful."
--Matt Perman, author, What's Best Next

"God's design for the church has always been a plurality of elders-but that doesn't mean plurality is easy. Dave Harvey knows this, and he has provided this straightforward guide to help you cultivate effective plurality in leadership."
--Timothy Paul Jones, author, Family Ministry Field Guide; C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Family Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"It is one thing to believe in the necessity of a plurality of elders but quite another to understand what that means! Dave Harvey does an excellent job of explaining it. He has put into words the reality I have wanted to share with fellow pastors as the dean of a church-based seminary-the type of fellowship that should exist within a team of elders. I thank God for this precious brother and the light he sheds on our path."
--François Turcotte, President and Dean, The Evangelical Baptist Seminary of Quebec

"Every once in a while you encounter a book you wish you'd read years earlier. Having inherited elder teams in three different churches, I can testify that Dave Harvey's book would have been gold during those transitions. If you are a young pastor, save yourself the heartache of confusion and conflict. If you are a seasoned leader, it could be time for a biblical tune-up. The health of your church, your leaders, and your own soul might just depend on it."
--Daniel Henderson, Founder and President, Strategic Renewal; Global Director, The 6:4 Fellowship; author, Old Paths, New Power

"Church leadership is the most perilous job out there, needing nothing short of the on-the-ground, forged-by-fire wisdom Harvey offers. From how elders can care for pastors to how elders and pastors can function together in practical, flock-sensitive, and Christ-honoring ways, this book guides elder teams through one of the most important needs they face: how church leadership teams can thrive in the complex challenges of real people, widely varying contexts, and treacherously subtle dangers."
--J. Alasdair Groves, Executive Director, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; coauthor, Untangling Emotions

"Dave Harvey has done a great service for all who love the local church and have been called by God into leadership. He carefully explains why God calls local churches to be overseen by a plurality of leaders. And he steers us around the reefs and barriers that have left some church boards shipwrecked and their churches torn in pieces. By God's grace, healthy plurality in leadership not only is possible but can be glorious!"
--Bob Lepine, Cohost, FamilyLife Today; Teaching Pastor, Redeemer Community Church, Little Rock, Arkansas

"Being a pastor or elder is no small task. That's why I've found Dave Harvey's book so helpful. With a compelling vision and clear manner, Harvey makes the practice of developing a healthy plurality of elders both understandable and desirable. If you are planting or leading a local church and you want to see a healthy church last far beyond your leadership, pick up and implement this book. It may be the most humbling thing you will ever do, but also the strongest way you will ever lead."
--Jeremy Writebol, Lead Campus Pastor, Woodside Bible Church, Plymouth, Michigan

Additional Information:

Cover: Softcover
Number of Pages: 179
Author: Harvey, Dave
Publisher: Crossway
Publication Date: 2021