An elder is one of a plurality of biblically qualified men who jointly shepherd and oversee a local body of believers. The consistent pattern throughout the New Testament is that each local church is shepherded by a plurality of God-ordained elders. Elders lead the church, teach and preach the Word, protect the church from false teachers, exhort and admonish the saints in sound doctrine, visit the sick and pray, and judge doctrinal issues. In biblical terminology, elders shepherd, oversee, lead, and care for the local church.
The Scriptures stress the importance of qualified church elders and provides specific standards for evaluating those who would serve in those positions. The qualifications for elders are found in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-8. We are convinced that the elder structure of pastoral leadership best harmonizes with, and promotes the true nature of the local church as revealed in the New Testament. We also believe biblical eldership guards and promotes the preeminence and position of Jesus Christ over the local church.