After the apostles died, the direction of the local church was left under the oversight of men called bishops (also known as elders, overseers, pastors, shepherds or presbyters). Each congregation was to be supervised by a plurality of such men, not by one man called “the pastor” or “the bishop.” Teachers and preachers were also important, but the elders (older men), men of advanced age, wisdom and experience were given the duty of oversight in matters pertaining to the church in their own town. They are to teach and direct the other members in the sound doctrine of the scriptures. The work and qualifications for this office are found in Acts 20:28-30; I Tim 3:1-7; 5:17-19; Tit 1:5-16; I Pet 5:1-4. When you read these qualifications, you will see 8 of them are negative and 16 are positive. Can you find these in your Bible? List them on a piece of paper. Six duties relate to the elder’s personal conduct with his wife and family; four other duties relate to the welfare of the church. Can you locate these and list them? There is no greater need in the church today than for biblically qualified shepherds (elders). Ask for free book on elders.