The Ruling Elder: Basic Function
By Tim Bertolet - Posted at Place for Truth:
For the proper functioning of the church, God has established the offices of elder and deacon. Elders have the function of overseeing the church, proclaiming the Word, and shepherding the flock. While all elders must be able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2), it seems that in 1 Tim. 5:17 the early church designated elders for the labor of teaching and preaching. It seems wise then to distinguish between ruling elders and teaching elders, the latter typically devoting more education and time to preaching and teaching.
What does a ruling elder do in the life of the church? Why are they important?
First, ruling elders are just as important for the overseeing of the flock as the teaching elder. Ruling elders are not like a board of directors in a Fortune 500 company. Rather, they are to be shepherds of God’s flock. God has entrusted the congregation to their care. There are not different levels of spiritual authority between teaching and ruling elders.