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What are the duties of an elder in the church?

At least five responsibilities of an elder are spelled out in the Bible:

1) The elders help settle disagreements between church members. "While Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch, Syria, some men from Judea came and told the Christians, "You can't be saved unless you follow the ancient Jewish custom of circumcision that Moses taught." Paul and Barnabas had a strong and long argument with them because they didn't agree with them. Paul and Barnabas were finally sent to Jerusalem with some local Christians to talk to the apostles and elders about this issue (Acts 15:1-2, NLT). The question was brought up, and strong arguments were made on both sides. The apostles and elders were then asked to make a decision. This passage shows that older people make decisions.

2) They pray for people who are sick. "Is any sick among you? He should call the church's elders and have them pray over him and put oil on him in the name of the Lord " (James 5:14). Because elders have to meet certain requirements, their lives are godly, and they confess their sins often. Because of this, they are often asked to pray for people who are sick. They are expected to pray for the Lord's will to be done, which is one of the most important parts of prayer.

3) They should be humble and watch out for the church. "I urge the elders among you, since I am also an elder and a witness to Christ's sufferings and a partaker of the glory that will be shown. Feed the flock of God among you. Don't do it because you have to, but because you want to. Don't do it for money, but because you want to. Don't do it because you think you're better than the people God gave you, but because you want to lead by example. And when the Chief Shepherd comes, you'll get a crown of glory that will never fade (1 Peter 5:1-4). Elders are the leaders of the church, and God gives them the flock to care for. They shouldn't lead because they want to get paid or get a reward, but because they want to serve and take care of the flock.

4) They need to keep an eye on the spiritual health of the flock. "Submit to those who are in charge of you and do what they say, for they watch over your souls as those who must give an account, so that they can do it with joy and not with sorrow, for that is not good for you" (Hebrews 13:17). This verse doesn't say the word "elders," but it does talk about the leaders of the church. They are in charge of the church's spiritual life.

5) They should spend their time praying and teaching the word "The Twelve called all the disciples together and said, "It's not right for us to stop preaching the word of God and start waiting tables." So, brothers, choose seven men from among you who are respected, full of the Spirit, and wise, so that we can put them in charge of this job. But we will spend our time in prayer and spreading the word'" (Acts 6:2-4). This is for the apostles, but in the passage above, #3, we can see that Peter says that he is both an apostle and an elder. From this verse, you can also see how the duties of an elder are different from those of a deacon.

To put it simply, the elders should work to make peace, be prayer warriors, teach, lead by example, and make decisions. They are the church's leaders who preach and teach. It's a job that should be sought, but it shouldn't be taken lightly. Read this warning: "Let not many of you become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more harshly" (James 3:1). Elder is not a job that should be taken lightly.


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