The Office of the Elder According to the Holy Bible

1. The Apostles of Jesus Christ ordained Elders in every church in every city.

  • Acts 14:23 (KJV) “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed…”
  • Titus 1:5 (KJV) “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee…”

2. The New Testament Elders are always in the company of the Apostles.

  • Acts 15:2 (KJV) “When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question…”
  • Acts 15:4 (KJV) “And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them…”

3. The Apostles and the Elders are the decision-makers in the early church.

  • Acts 15:6 (KJV) “And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter…”
  • Acts 15:22 (KJV) “Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren…”
  • Acts 15:23 (KJV) “And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia…”
  • Acts 16:4 (KJV) “And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem…”

4. The New Testament Elders are responsible in governance and education of the church.

  • 1Timothy 5:17 (KJV) “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine…”

5. The Elders are also responsible in the healing of every church members.

  • James 5:14 (KJV) “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord…”

6. The New Testament Elders should be treated as a father.

  • 1Timothy 5:1 (KJV) “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren…”


Ministry of Elders.  The ministry of a Elder is to represent Christ and his Church,
particularly as Pastor to the people; to share with the Bishop in the overseeing of
the Church; to proclaim the Gospel; to administer the sacraments; and to bless and
declare pardon in the name of God. Elders are ordained to a lifetime ministry of
word and sacrament in the church and provide pastoral leadership in the denomination.

The Christian United Church Book of Discipline, Article IV page 9


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