Teleios recently conducted a survey of pastors who graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary to assess views of the leadership structure in their churches.

WHAT WE DID

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We examined the type and effectiveness of church leadership in churches pastored by graduates of DTS.

  • Surveys were sent twice over a 2-week period to a random sampling of graduates through the DTS Alumni Office.
  • The survey was completed anonymously online at Survey Monkey.
  • Of the 1000 invitations sent, we received 223 (22%) responses.

WHAT WE FOUND

The majority of respondents:

  • Were located in the south/southeast portion of the United States.
  • Served in primarily non-denominational churches.
  • Met in a free standing facility.
  • Served as senior pastor.
  • Pastored a church for 10-20 years.
  • Had a ThM degree.
  • Had an average weekly church attendance of 200-500.
  • Had an average of 7 elders.

Church Government Structure

Figure 1 shows the types of church government structures.

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Elder Duties*

Figure 2 notes what duties are typically assigned to elders.

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Elder Training*

Figure 3 displays types of new elder training.

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Positive Views of Elders*

Figure 4 shows pastors’ perceptions of the elders’ most positive traits.

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Negative Views of Elders*

Figure 5 indicates the pastors’ most negative perceptions about elders.

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*Most common responses

WHAT IT MEANS

  • Pastors have a strong dependence on elders, especially to assist leading the church administratively and spiritually.
  • Most churches provide some level of training to their elders.
  • Pastors are most grateful for elders’ commitment to God’s word.
  • Pastors note elders often are unable to lead and lack of knowledge of the Bible.

Summary: There’s room for improved elder training in leadership and biblical knowledge.

For a copy of this infographic for your own use please click here.