This coming Lord’s Day at Hills Bible Church will be an Eldership induction service. Two men will be welcomed into the Eldership before the congregation. This occasion will be a public setting apart of these men for this task and be a time in which the congregation is reminded of the role of Elders.
What is the role of an Elder in the local church? When used of this particular position and function, the word “elder” refers to an individual who serves in a leadership role in the church. The word elder draws attention to his spiritual maturity. It is the teaching and assumption of the New Testament that there will be a plurality of elders functioning in the local church. There are two other words used of an elder in the NT: an “overseer” (or “bishop”) and “pastor” (or “shepherd”). These three terms all refer to the same position, are used interchangeably (Acts 20:17-38; 1 Pet. 5:1-2) and provide insight into the nature of this role. Amongst the plurality of elders in the local church, one of them is usually recognized and gifted as the pastor-teacher (Eph. 4:11). This individual will labour mostly in the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, be devoted to the ministry and will be remunerated (1 Tim. 5:17-18), however other elders and gifted men can still preach and teach.
It is the duty of an elder to lead (1 Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:17), teach (1 Tim. 3:2; 5:17), and shepherd (Acts 20:28-30; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:5; James 5:14; 1 Pet. 5:1-2) the congregation in a local church. The elders are from the congregation and are given the task of an under-shepherd who will one day give an account to the Chief Shepherd of the church (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:4).