Working with the pastor in the church is the elder who is appointed by the members of the church and ordained by the pastor. Female elders may also be ordained. The elder is seen as a religious leader in the church and is able to conduct ordinances. The elder, or elders in some cases (who are led by a “head elder”), is largely responsible for the running of the church and the distribution of responsibility in the church. In the Adventist Church “elder” is not a title. It’s a function. The term “pastor” is a function and often used as a title. The “local elder’s position authority is limited to the local church he or she is serving. The “pastor’s” authority is universal. The local elder gets his or her authority from the pastor he or she is serving under or otherwise from the field administration. The pastor’s authority is inherent in his or her position as pastor.
- Give leadership in the spiritual program of the Church.
- Serve as consultants to the department and auxiliary church organizations.
- Engage in a weekly prayer meeting.
- Serve as group leaders in missionary and church activities.
- Give Bible Studies to new interest.
- Support the programs of the departments.
- Are actively involved in home, sick and shut-in visitation.
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