Alongside the pastor, the elder has a shepherding role (1 Pet 5:2) under the direction of the Chief Shepherd (1 Pet 5:4). Effective care will require combining a love for people (John 13:35) with principles of visitation (Acts 5:42). So, the elder will seek to master skills in conflict resolution and practicing confidentiality, as well as ministering to the sick and nurturing new members. The result will be that our church members will be holistically nurtured and kept (Rom 15:1-2).

In obedience to Jesus’ Commission (Matt 28:18-20), elders need to understand and implement principles of church growth. This involves learning to actively seek a network of potential disciples in everyday environments and build relationships with them. Thus, through the example of their lives (1 Cor 11 :1) elders will seek to build people who are fully devoted disciples with a clear Adventist identity.