Some of my favorite quotes from this quick read from the late 1800s:
"The usefulness of an elder will depend in the long run more on his character than on his gifts and knowledge."
"The world is not governed by logic, and to do much good in it, especially as Christian men and elders, the words of truth we speak must come warm from our hearts, or they fall cold and pointless."
"Dr. Chalmers said, “The way into a man’s heart is in at the door of his house.” And he must keep up this knowledge by visiting them from time to time."
"In every way let an elder seek to stir up his people to pray—private prayer especially, but social also. Prayer is the most practical and powerful thing in the world, for it moves the Hand that moves the universe."
"Every elder is himself in danger of backsliding, and so are his people. Watching over this is part of his duty as appointed to feed the flock (literally, to tend them like a shepherd); and it is required of him that he be found faithful in this."
"Surely it becomes a minister’s people, and especially his elders, to give him their hearty sympathy and earnest prayers. Marvelous power, this power of sympathy."
"I have said so much on this subject because of my deep conviction that we elders fall short in this duty of sympathizing fully with our ministers in their work."
from The Elder and His Work by David Dickson