Many Seventh-day Adventist churches worldwide receive their primary pastoral leadership from local church elders in place of employed ministers. Therefore, the General Conference Ministerial Association is responsible for encouraging and training this vital group of laity leaders.

The Elder's Training department:

  • Helps pastors, elders, deacons and deaconesses understand the biblical function of their roles in the local congregation.
  • Motivates ministerial secretaries to organize and conduct seminars for training elders.
  • Encourages unions and conferences to include elders in resource distribution plans--books, DVD's, study courses, etc.
  • Asks conferences to include elders in some pastoral meetings to provide ongoing interaction between these pastor/elder teams.
  • Provides incentives for pastors to train elders to become trainers of other church leaders.
  • Trains elders for vital roles in local church administration, leadership, nurture, and evangelism.
  • Provides resources to enhance the work of elders, deacons, and deaconesses.

The Ministerial Association is providing pastors and leaders of our church with the necessary resources for training and empowering of officers at the local congregation level where they serve as volunteers. The Elder’s Digest magazine, one of the three journals published by the Association, is printed quarterly with a collection of relevant articles with leadership strategies, didactic tools, health tips for elders, official Church statements, world news, sermon outlines, global initiatives of our Church, questions and answers, and other biblicly-sound topics for leaders.

Elder's Digest

Elder’s Digest was founded in 1994. This magazine is precisely designed to attend the needs of local church leaders around the world and to keep them informed and connected. It is prepared to help elders and company directors to grow in their skills and abilities as leaders. It is recognized as the best way to share and promote church programs and initiatives at the local church level around the world.

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Elder's Handbook

This completely new edition of the Elder’s Handbook has eight chapters dealing with everything from Biblical models of organization, job description, leadership in church, evangelism, church nurturing and special services. This handbook has been prepared to assist elders in understanding their calling, and to train them in their leadership role in the church.

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Jonas Arrais

Editor, Elder's Digest
Associate Ministerial Secretary

Jonas came to the GC from Brazil in 2005. He holds a bachelor's in Theology, a Master of Divinity Degree, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Andrews University. He has more than 30 years of experience as a minister and has served for 5 years as Associate Ministerial Secretary for the South American Division of SDA. He currently is the editor of the Elder's Digest magazine and also conducts Elder's Training Seminars to pastor's and elder's worldwide. He is the author of "A Positive Church in a Negative World" and "Wanted:A Good Pastor". He speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and English.