Role of Offices
Role of Offices
Ruling elders differ from other elders (the Ministers of Word and Sacrament) in that they are not subject to examinations from presbytery with regard to their call to office; they typically have daily vocations outside the Church; and they usually do not receive remuneration from the Church for their services. However, on the session, they rule jointly with the other elders and have the same formal authority. They may serve as representatives of the Church in presbytery and council meetings. It especially belongs to the office of ruling elder,
- To serve on the session, and thus rule the people;
- To advise Ministers of Word and Sacraments in their special work and represent the congregation on the session;
- To oversee the doctrine and practice of the flock;
- To set an example of godliness in all things;
- To act as peacekeepers and judges in cases of dispute;
- To pray with and for the people, especially in time of illness; and to anoint the sick with oil when requested, along with the Ministers of Word and Sacrament;
- To counsel and nurture the members of the congregation towards godliness, encouraging and correcting them as needed;
- To assist the pastor in leading the liturgy when needed or appropriate;
- To assist in the distribution of the Lord’s Supper and the collection of tithes and offerings;
- To execute Church discipline when and as situations require it;
- To join with the deacons in caring for the poor and needy.
Ruling elders labor beside Ministers of the Word and Sacraments (pastors, teachers, and evangelists) in lovingly shepherding and discipling the people.