"Let the elders who rule well be counted with double honor" (1 Timothy 5:17). Ordained elders are people who have proven that they are skilled in Scripture and understand the inner workings of the Christian Church and the local ministry. In essence, elders are the spiritual leaders of congregations or in conjunction with pastoral leadership. The role of ordained elders within the Christian Church can vary from denomination to denomination. However, the Bible is very clear about the responsibilities that an elder should take within the church.
Elders provide oversight for ministers, evangelists and deacons under the leadership of a pastor. They focus on the spiritual development of the clergy and the congregation as a whole. In many instances, ordained elders serve as pastors over local congregations. Much of the leadership that is provided involves vision and direction for a particular ministry such as new members, marriage ministry, youth ministry and other service ministries. Ordained elders are responsible for preaching, teaching and ministering to persons who are interested in becoming Christian.
There are times when congregations have some concerns that have to be settled by a seasoned member of the local church. Ordained elders serve as persons who help members resolve relationship issues, disputes of all kind and disorderly behavior of clergy and members of a local congregation. The resolution for all of these issues is to use the Scripture to bring understanding and correction for all parties involved.
Persons who have received a specific call to lead congregations as a pastor are also ordained elders. These persons function in the administration of the church, discipleship of the congregation and as overall overseers for the local church. An ordained elder who is a pastor is responsible for taking care of the congregation's spiritual needs and often times physical needs. One of the main responsibilities is to preach and teach Scripture in a manner that each member of the congregation gains an understanding of the Bible and how to apply Scripture to his everyday life.
Worship services may be conducted by an ordained elder. This is especially true for those who are pastors or work closely with the pastor. Responsibilities include coordinating and participating in funerals, weddings, regular worship services, communion services, dedications, ordinations and any additional services conducted in the local church.
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