Elder Training

Why elder training? 

Ekklesia Elder Training exists for those who have a desire to do the work of pastoral ministry (1 Timothy 3:1), as well as for those who have been identified by current elders as having elder qualities (2 Timothy 2:1-3). The chief aim of this training is to equip men for the work of shepherding the flock of God like Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God. We are committed to this work because elders are commanded to train up fellow soldiers for the work of pastoral ministry. These soldiers are to be willing to die to themselves in order to love Jesus, their families, and the church.

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus”

2 Timothy 2:1-3

What are the practical purposes of elder training? 

The first practical purpose of Ekklesia Elder Training is to help confirm or deny a godly desire for pastoral ministry (1 Timothy 3:1). The second is to help confirm or deny whether or not one meets the qualifications for pastoral ministry (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9). Finally, the third practical purpose is to teach and train men to faithfully serve as under-shepherds of Jesus Christ, keeping a close watch on themselves and the doctrine as they lead and feed the church that God purchased with his own blood (1 Timothy 4:16, 1 Peter 5:1-4, Acts 20:17-35).

How will we go about training elders?

One of our main goals is to be as practical and hands-on as possible. We will meet once per week on average. We will study the Bible as well as helpful books that will be useful in training all involved to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:1-3).

This is not an average Bible study or small group setting. This is training for war. We believe this will be intensely challenging and, by God’s grace, extremely edifying for all involved. 

What will we study?

 *Each week when we meet we will study a passage of the Bible as well as a portion of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith
*Each elder in training is required to read and study the entire Bible (some of this will be in a group, some will be on their own)


  1. Knowing God by J.I. Packer *
  2. The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul *
  3. The Attributes of God by John Frame (sys.theo) *
  4. The Trinity by John Frame (sys.theo)
  5. The Work of the Holy Spirit by John Frame (sys.theo)
  6. Kings Cross by Tim Keller


  1. Church Elders by Jeramie Rinne *
  2. Lectures to My Students by Charles Haddon Spurgeon *
  3. The Mechanics of Expository Preaching by Steven Lawson (VIDEOS) *
  4. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer
  5. Preaching and Preachers by Martyn Lloyd Jones
  6. Preaching by Tim Keller
  7. Expository Exultation by John Piper
  8. Reformed Preaching by Joel Beeke
  9. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
  10. The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter


  1. The Doctrine of the Word of God by Joel Beeke (ch. 15-25 in RST) *
  2. Saving The Reformation by Dr. Robert Godfrey *
  3. The Doctrines of Grace by James Boice & Philip Ryken *
  4. Why We Believe the Bible seminar by John Piper (VIDEOS)
  5. T.U.L.I.P seminar by John Piper (VIDEOS)


  1. Church History In Plain Language by Bruce Shelley *
  2. The Doctrine of the Future by Wayne Grudem (ch. 54-57 in ST) *
  3. Know the Creeds and Councils by Justin Holcomb
  4. Know the Heretics by Justin Holcomb
  5. Historical Theology by Gregg Allison


  1. 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever *
  2. Generous Justice by Tim Keller *
  3. Church Discipline by Jonathan Leeman
  4. The Character of the Church by Joe Thorn

-Brett Baggett, elder Ekklesia Muskogee
-Nate Yabrough, elder Ekklesia Muskogee

*group study with an elder