Serving as Elders

One of the greatest privileges is to serve in the church of Jesus Christ as an elder. It is also a task that involves great responsibility. This course is designed to equip and encourage serving elders in the local church by exploring the unique set of opportunities, tasks and challenges before them.

The church has not always taken the time to offer it’s elders the kind of help that will allow them to know what kind of people they should be, and what kind of tasks they are to be involved in.

Questions such as the following are really important:

  • What kind of God am I serving?
  • If I am to be involved in God’s purposes, what are they?
  • Do I have to be perfect? What kind of qualities should I have and strive for?
  • What do the people need from an elder?
  • There is so much to be done, but what are my main goals?
  • How should I do the work of an elder?  What kind of things can I learn to do better?
  • What resources are available to help me?

This course will encourage serving elders and new elders explore answers to these sorts of questions.

See the FAQs to find out more.

The course is usually offered as a series of online, fully interactive, workshops where you interact with other elders (and deacons) who are also completing the course.  

This means that elders (and deacons) can benefit from the same learning experience together.

Yes, but you do not have to be an expert.  Communication will be via email, and there will be some material to watch and read before each workshop.  

If you are unsure of the technology, it is always possible to join up with a fellow elder (deacon) for the workshops.

There is some material to watch and read beforehand. 

This material is very accessible and intended for a people with a range of different gifts and abilities.

There are six parts to the course:

  • Theology: The God you will serve as an Elder.  This is material for you to read and some lectures for you to listen to or watch.  They explain God and his purposes.
  • Character: The person you want to be as an Elder.  This explores the qualities and character of an elder.
  • People: The Church you will help as an Elder.  This section explains the need of the people for elders like yourself.
  • Goals: The Priorities you must share as an Elder.  Two main goals are explored.
  • Methods: The Ways you can serve as an Elder.  This is the ‘how to’ part of the course – showing you how to do the work of an elder.
  • Resources.  This last part provides you with a list of materials that will be helpful for you in your work as an elder.

It may be that we will meet in person for one of the workshops where possible, or for refresher workshops in the future.  However, the course is mainly online.

No.  However, there will be a lot of interactive discussions during the workshops.  That is where you will see that your own understanding has developed and that you know what is to be put into practice in your own experience.

Most people on the course are already elders (or deacons).

However, others may be asked by their local leadership to consider the role of the elder or deacon, and be invited by them to join the workshops.  

Not really.  The material is written from a Presbyterian perspective, but the content of the course will be of benefit to people from other denominations.