Clearly the elders were appointed and anointed as spiritual leaders of the local church in New Testament times.
- Some of the five-fold ministries may also be ordained as elders. The local eldership should, in time, possess all of the ministries of pastor, prophet and teacher. The term “pastor,” as it usually is used today, really refers to the chief or presiding elder. Indeed, he should have the heart of a shepherd, the vision of a prophet, and the wisdom of a teacher. Other elders, however, will function in these specific ministries as well.
Even the apostle, evangelist, traveling prophet or teacher should have a home church base. Indeed, such traveling or “trans-local” ministries often develop from within the “local” eldership. There could be no better preparation.
Truly, the eldership as a whole brings the order and authority necessary for all of the ministries in the church to properly function. This includes not only the five-fold ministries, but others as well.
The elders, deacons and five fold ministries provide the needed foundation and order for the local church to fully function .They have been given and set in place by God so that believers might find growth in the Lord and find their own place of service. Only then can every member become a minister. Only then can the Church of Jesus Christ fulfill her ministry – to God, to the people of God, and to the world.