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ELDER’S LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATION LEVEL - 1. The Church and Its Organization. Purpose of the Church. The church is God’s idea: The church is a divine plan. God works in an organized way. The church was founded by Christ. “People who want to be part of God’s plan, but not part

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Purpose of the Church

  • The church is God’s idea:

  • The church is a divine plan.

  • God works in an organized way.

  • The church was founded by Christ.

  • “People who want to be part of God’s plan, but not part

  • of an organization, do not understand how God works.”

What is the Church?

  • Bible images to represent the church:

  • A holy nation.

  • A covenant people.

  • The body of Christ.

  • The family of God.

“The church is not a museum, but a living workshop.”

What is the Church?

Bible images to represent the church:

  • A household of faith.

  • The bride of Christ.

  • A royal priesthood.

“Every church member, in receiving the Holy Spirit,

receives a spiritual gift to be used in soul winning ministry.”

Organization of the Church

  • Bible Models:

  • Israel model: The 12 tribes and theocratic nation.

  • Body model: The body of Christ and its members.

  • New Testament model: Eklesia.

Organization of the Church

  • The Seventh-day Adventist organization:

  • Prophetic origin: Revelation 12:17 and 14:12

  • Prophetic message: Revelation 14:9-11

  • Great Commission: Matthew 28:19, 20

Organization of the Church

  • Four forms of church organization:

  • Papal: The Pope has supreme authority.

  • Episcopal: The final authority rests with church bishops.

  • Congregational: Full authority within its domain rests with the local congregation.

  • Representative: Authority rests with church members.

Organization of the Church

  • Levels of SDA church organization:

  • Local Congregations: Includes organized churches and companies.

  • Local Field: Conference/Mission.

  • Union:Conference/Mission.

  • General Conference:The 13 Division world field.

Importance of the Church Elders

  • The Old Testament Elders:

  • An elder doesn’t refer to “the elderly”, but does imply one of maturity and experience.

  • Moses: Counsel from Jethro (Exodus 18).

  • The 70 Men: Qualifications (Numbers 11).

  • “In the King James Version, the term ELDER is used 194 times.”

Importance of the Church Elders

  • The New Testament Elders:

  • Apostles: They were ordained and were responsible for the overall teaching, planning, administration, and evangelism of the church. They were generally itinerant workers.

  • Elders: They were ordained lay persons. They exercised their spiritual gifts in the local congregation. They provided a ministry that gave strength and direction to the local church.

Importance of the Church Elders

The Seventh-day Adventist Elders:

The need of effective pastor-elder teams are necessary today more than ever. We have to learn to depend more upon the ability and skills of well-trained lay people rather than upon the talents and skills of the professional pastor.

Importance of the Church Elders

  • The Seventh-day Adventist Elders:

There are approximately 25,000 ministers available to serve more than 17 million Seventh-day Adventist members in more than 120,000 congregations. Only through the faithful ministry of local church leaders can churches thrive.


“In the work and organization of the church, if a pastor has not been provided by the conference or mission, the office of elder ranks as the highest and most important.”

The Need of the Church:

Training is the greatest need of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the world today: (1) Because of the rapid growth, (2) the decline of economy, (3) and the new mentality of our generation, it is imperative to change our philosophy of pastoring the local congregation.

Church Resources for Elders

  • Elder’s Handbook

  • Covers the duties, responsibilities, and challenges of the local church elder. Each chapter includes a study guide, group discussion and personal evaluation questions.

Church Resources for Elders

  • Church Manual

  • The Church Manual is the most significant policy book of the denomination. The standards and practices of the church are based upon the principles set forth in it.

Church Resources for Elders

  • Elder’s Digest Magazine

  • A quarterly resource for local church leaders. Each issue includes an interview, four sermons, question and answer column, helpful articles, and insights to improve your leadership skills.

Church Resources for Elders

  • Elder’s Handbook PowerPoint

  • This CD contains 15 PowerPoints for elders training seminars. It is based off of the Elder’s Handbook.

Church Resources for Elders

  • Elder’s Leadership Certification

  • This CD contains 15 PowerPoint seminars, handouts, certificate and other resources for elders training.

Church Resources for Elders

Elder’s Guide

  • This CD contains a complete 8-year worship program for each Sabbath, including sermons, children’s stories, call to worship, hymn suggestion, and scripture reading.

Church Resources for Elders

SDA Believe Evangelistic Kit

This CD contains 28 PowerPoint presentations and study guides for each chapter, as well as resource materials for promoting evangelistic events.

Church Resources for Elders

  • To purchase these resources, please contact the

  • Ministerial Association secretary of your field or go

  • to www.ministerialassociation.com.