Elder's Handbook (PDF Download)
The Seventh-day Adventist Elder's Handbook is packed with information about the critical role that elders play in our church organization.
Short excerpt from the book:
"The church is God's idea. Everywhere God is at work there is organization. Focus a microscope on the tiniest of His creations What do you see? Precise, predictable organization. Train a telescope on the vastness of His universe What do you see? Organization so precise and predictable that all societies have used the sun, moon, and stars to measure their time and steer their ships.
People who want to be part of Gods plan, but not part of an organization, do not understand how God works. "System and order are manifest in all the works of God throughout the universe" (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 26). Wherever God is at work there is organization.
Since God is an organizer and since He is in the work of saving sinners, you would expect Him to put together an organization to help Him do it. This He has done from the beginning. His first organization was the home and family. We call it the patriarchal system. Later, He used a nation -- the people of Israel. Since New Testament times He has used a community of believers called out from the world to be together in what we call the church.
God has designated elders as important leaders in this church organization. But they must love the church to serve it effectively, and to love it intelligently they must first understand it. Thus it is both appropriate and imperative to begin this Elder's Handbook by focusing on the nature and purpose of the church."