There were elders of the people for the government of the Old testament Church. Likewise in the New Testament Church, besides the apostles and the ministers, there were elders who ruled. To the office of ruling elder shall be chosen men of wisdom, discretion, sound faith and Godly life, and who are qualified under the standards recorded in Scripture. Ruling elders are chosen by the voting members of the congregation and are their immediate representatives. together with the ministers, they exercise government and discipline. They oversee the spiritual interests both of the particular congregation and of the Church generally when appointed to represent the congregation in the higher courts. In all the courts of the Church ruling elders possess the same authority and the same eligibility to office as ministers. It is the responsibility of ruling elders, both individually and jointly, to guard and promote the spiritual welfare of the congregation. They are required by their office to visit the people, especially the sick, and pray with them, to comfort the sorrowing, encourage the weak, guide the wayward and the careless, and in general, to discharge all other duties in Christian love. Although ruling elders do represent congregations by election, they are to seek the will of God in all church court decisions.