Book Image

Workers for Your Joy

The Call of Christ on Christian Leaders


We live in an age increasingly cynical about leadership—some of it for good reason, much of it simply the mood of our times. Still, the risen Christ continues the counter-cultural work he’s done for two millennia: he appoints leaders in his church—not as a burden, but as a gift to his people. “He gave . . . the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:11–12).

What is the nature, calling, and work of local church leadership? Pastor and seminary professor David Mathis considers the elder qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 not only as prerequisites but as daily necessities to carry out joyfully. This accessible guide aims to serve current and aspiring pastors and elders, as well as church members who want to know the expectations for their leaders and how to pray for them. From the words of Christ to Peter and Paul and Hebrews, the New Testament casts a vision for church leaders that is good news to churches and leaders alike: joyful workers for the joy of their people.


  • David Mathis is right that two thousand years later, the biblical qualifications for elders ‘continue to pulse with relevancy to the everyday work of Christian leadership.’ What a great help this book would have been forty years ago when I was trying to build church-wide consensus around how the local church is to be led. What makes this book unique is the way pastoral joy, patient exposition, and personal application are woven into the fabric of Christian leadership. May God use Workers for Your Joy to raise up thousands of leaders who do not lord it over their people’s faith, but ‘work with you for your joy’ (2 Cor. 1:24). John Piper, Founder & Teacher,
  • As an author who has written two books about leadership in Christ’s church, I know of no other book like Workers for Your Joy. David Mathis leads you through an examination of the biblical qualifications of an elder in a way that is penetrating, personal, and practical at every point. As I read chapter after chapter, each dedicated to a pastoral qualification, I was both deeply convicted and encouraged. As you read, you cannot help being amazed at the generosity of our Lord in gifting his church with this kind of leadership—all for the joy of his people. And I have to say: I love that joy is the central organizing theme of this book about pastoral ministry! I cannot think of any member or leader in the body of Christ who would not benefit from taking some time to stroll through the garden of practical gospel wisdom that makes up the pages of this book. Paul Tripp
  • Our culture is averse to authority, partially because of the sinful abuse of authority. Still, God intended for there to be leaders in our churches, and David Mathis helps us understand in this biblically saturated and pastorally wise book what the Scriptures teach about elders. The duties and responsibilities of elders are unpacked clearly and powerfully chapter by chapter. We desperately need qualified and godly leaders in our churches, and this is the ideal book for church members considering who should lead a church, for leaders as they consider whether they are qualified, and for seminarians and college students as they study what the Scriptures teach about elders. Thomas Schreiner, Professor, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • The antidote to bad authority is not no authority. It's good authority. And we need a whole lot more good authority—humble, whole, and honorable—in the church today. I commend David Mathis’s wonderfully clear and biblical guide to Christian leadership that glorifies God. Collin Hansen, Guest Contributor
  • At a time when Christian reflection on leadership seems to have been hijacked by ideas from the corporate world, it is refreshing to see a book on leadership that derives its material from the Scriptures. The major leadership crisis facing the church today has to do with character, not with method or strategy. The Bible has a lot to say about that. This is the focus of this book. It reflects deeply on what the Scriptures teach in a way that challenges our attitudes and behaviors and encourages change towards Christlikeness. Ajith Fernando, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka