Book Review – The Caring Elder

The Caring Elder, by Victor A. Constien

Concordia Publishing House, 1986
This is one of three books I purchased from our denominational publishing company to begin training a new group of Elders for our congregation.  While the book is definitely geared towards a larger congregation, the material is helpful primarily for generating discussion.   The book begins with a Scriptural overview of the office of Elder, and coming from a conservative Lutheran tradition, goes to great pains to both honor the office of Elder and distinguish it from the Pastoral Office.  Depending on your particular church traditions and views, you may find this more or less helpful.
Topics are broad enough to cover a broad spectrum of possible Elder functions, including assisting in worship, teaching, evangelism, and member care & support.  Questions follow each chapter/topic to spur further reflection and discussion.  Appendices provide resources for personal Elder study, examples of prayers, space to reflect on personal goals and events, as well as Bible study and devotions suitable for use in opening Elders meetings.
Definitely a helpful resource, particularly in spurring discussion of how some of these things might be implemented in a particular congregational context.  
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