|¶ 323. Ministry of an Elder
Elders are ordained ministers who, by God's grace, have completed their formal preparation and have been commissioned and served as a probationary member, have been found by the Church to be of sound learning, of Christian character, possessing the necessary gifts and evidence of God's grace, and whose call by God to ordination has been confirmed by the Church. Elders are ordained to a lifetime ministry of Service, Word, Sacrament, and Order. They are authorized to preach and teach the Word of God, to administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and to order the life of the Church for mission and ministry. The servant leadership of the elder is expressed by leading the people of God in worship and prayer, by leading persons to faith in Jesus Christ, by exercising pastoral supervision in the congregation, and by leading the Church in obedience to mission in the world.
As members of the Order of Elder, all elders are in covenant with all other elders in the annual conference and shall participate in the life of their Order.
The Book of Discipline - 2000, Copyright The United Methodist Publishing House