Dr. J.R. Miller’s Elders Lead a Healthy Family: Shared Leadership for a Vibrant Church is a refreshing alternative to the numerous familiar (and generally fruitless) attempts to baptize the pragmatic priorities of secular leadership theory into the waters of New Testament ecclesiology. For all the talk about community in our churches today, Joe reminds us that healthy relationships must begin at the top—with a community of leaders. This book is full of solid biblical teaching packaged in a winsome and appealing way, by a practitioner who has experienced the benefits of shared leadership first-hand. Elders Lead a Healthy Family ought to be required reading for vocational and non-vocational church leaders alike.

Joseph H. Hellerman, Ph.D.

Author of When the Church Was a Family

Miller has done a huge service for all tired pastors and leaders. He has written a wonderful book reminding us of the biblical blueprint of plurality leadership for the church.

Benjamin C. Shin, Th.M., D.Min.

Associate Professor of Bible Exposition, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

Building an Elder Team?

Invite Dr. Miller to coach your team or speak at an event.



Elders Lead A Healthy Family is for current and future Christian leaders; church planters, missionary-planters, bi-vocational pastors, students, and all those interested in reshaping leadership. This book will appeal to readers interested in the organic church movement and young Christian readers frustrated with the celebrity-pastor culture.

Readers of Elders Lead A Healthy Family will discover the power of shared leadership to strengthen our leaders and transform our churches into vibrant communities of Faith as the book introduces them to a fresh approach to Church as a Family and the transformative power of biblical Eldership.

  • What readers are saying…

    I would hope that many struggling churches would have their pastor and staff leaders read this and begin to apply Dr.Millers concepts and practices. Its a must read for a church that needs to survive and grow.

    — Joe, Amazon Review
  • #EldersLead

    Forward by Gary L. McIntosh

    Wherever you look, whatever you read, or whomever you listen to, it’s clear that pastors are hurting, churches are struggling, and ministry is in trouble. Christian and secular writers and researchers report almost weekly that churches are not as fruitful or effective as they were in times past. Such statements are likely overstated to catch attention, but there is a measure of truth in them. Without doubt, those who lead churches in the twenty-first century are facing major changes and challenges.

    It is to this issue of biblical leadership that Elders Lead a Healthy Family: Shared Leadership for a Vibrant Church is directed. In this book Joe Miller brings to paper his years of research and ministry practice to address questions like How can we stop pastoral burnout? How can we develop healthier church structures to eliminate isolation? How can we build vibrant churches for the coming generations?

    Elders Lead a Healthy Family: Shared Leadership for a Vibrant Church is a refreshing look at the larger topic of church leadership, structure, and government. It will challenge your assumptions, attitudes, and perspectives. It is a book I hope will be read by many, but much more than read, I hope its principles and insights will be put into action.

    Gary L. McIntosh, D.Min., Ph.D. Professor, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, La Mirada, CA.



    Dr. J.R. Miller is currently Professor of Applied Theology & Leadership and Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. In addition, Joe is a coach to church planters and planting his second church.

    Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background earning his B.A.E from the Pennsylvania State University, M.Div from Oral Roberts University, and D.Min from Biola University. Joe has 20 years of pastoral experience and has authored multiple books and journal articles on church history, biblical theology, leadership and a devotional for building teams. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

    Elders Lead a Healthy Family: Shared Leadership for a Vibrant Church is a fascinating fresh look at church leadership. No one wants their sacred cows questioned, but that’s exactly what this book does. With excellent scholarship and personal stories, Dr. J.R. Miller builds a biblical case for elder-led churches. I love how Joe includes women in the discussion in a way that honors and elevates us. It’s a friendly, easy read, but one that will challenge assumptions and inspire every Christian to respond. Lyn Smith

    Bible Activist, Speaker, Author

    This book by Dr. J.R. Miller is a helpful addition to books on the biblical vision of shared leadership. Not only does Miller weave in wisdom gained from his pastoral experience but he also treats sensitive topics with thoughtfulness and grace.  With so many churches defaulting to the CEO model of leadership, Elders Lead a Healthy Family: Shared Leadership for a Vibrant Church provides an alternate model to help churches, and church leaders, embrace God’s design of shared leadership.

    Benjamin L. Merkle

    Author of 40 Questions about Elders and Deacons & Why Elders? A Biblical and Practical Guide for Church Members

    Dr. J.R. Miller is a rare combination of theorist/practitioner, except when you’re doing what you’re writing about, it stops being theory and starts becoming experience. I appreciate Joe’s well rounded approach to the subject of shared leadership; a heady piece with heart.

    Peyton Jones

    West Region Catalyst, SEND Network

    Resources for Building Elder Teams

    Resources for Building Elder Teams

    More Than Cake

    This book is a compilation of 52 meditations conceived in the midst of Dr. Miller’s own suffering and pleasure while building a team. These devotionals take on issues of church, culture, and theology in a way that will help your team reshape their ministry.

    Embracing Shared Ministry

    Social historian and pastor Joe Hellerman addresses issues of power and authority in the church—in the New Testament and in the church today—in a fresh, culturally nuanced way.

    40 Questions About Elders and Deacons

    Organized around common FAQs, this book ackles the major questions that pastors, church leaders, and students ask about congregational church government.

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