Elders are a valued and valuable ministry in the United Reformed Church. This course is an attempt to support and encourage them and the work they do.
‘A Course for Elders’, published by the United Reformed Church, is designed to be flexible to meet the needs at a local situation and listed below are the course units, aims and titles:
- Unit 1 –
‘Called to be Elders’
To see how the role of Elder and the functions of the Eldership have evolved from their roots in Scripture and have continued through the history of the Reformed Churches.
- Unit 2 –
‘The Church in an Ecumenical Setting’
To understand more fully the role of Elder and the Eldership in the United Reformed Church and in the context of ecumenical settings and to examine Elders’ sense of calling and attitude to the role.
- Unit 3 –
‘Working as a Team’
To consider the corporate nature of Eldership and its responsibility to offer effective leadership.
- Unit 4 –
‘The Elder as Pastor’
To understand more fully the pastoral role of Elders and to explore ways of delivering pastoral care effectively.
- Unit 5 –
‘Skills for Pastoral Care’
To look at skills and good practice necessary for pastoral care.
- Unit 6 –
‘The Local Church and the Wider Church’
To explore how the local church understands its life in the context of the wider church.
- Unit 7 –
‘The Church in Community’
To explore the relationship of the local church to the community in which it is placed.
- Unit 8 –
‘Elders as Communicators’
Explore ways of improving communication.
- Unit 9 –
‘Elders and Work Among Young People’
To explore the responsibility of the Elders to create and have oversight of a strategy for youth and children’s work in the church.
- Unit 10 –
To explore issues which have not been addressed elsewhere in the course. These include:
- the Elders’ role in making sure that worship is provided;
- some legal issues;
- where and how to find resources;
- a look at matters of safety, including ‘Good Practice’;
- to evaluate the course.