Church “elders” are men appointed by their own congregation to oversee the spiritual well-being of that group. The word “elder” in the New Testament (NT) refers literally to an older man, implying the seasoned and responsible Christian character of one who is a veteran of church work. Prerequisites for church elders are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. The eldership refers to the office to which these men are appointed—the only office that is allowed by the NT pattern for church organization. The NT uses three words for these men: elders, overseers, and “pastors” (i.e., shepherds) (Ephesians 4:11). We prefer to use the word “shepherds” for our elders because it speaks directly to the function of their eldership—namely, to shepherd (guide, nurture, teach, and admonish or redirect) the members of the congregation that appointed them (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:1-4).