"Deacons [today's Elders] likewise must be dignified, not double-tonged, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons [elders] if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons [elders] each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus." (I Timothy 3:8-13)
The office of the lay elder is a blessing in every church. Often the elders assist during the worship services. They are able to assist with readings, prayers, the Sacraments.
At Palisades Lutheran Church our Elders each have a flock, a section of the congregation they assist the pastor(s) to provide spiritual care and fellowship.
Scripture does not define their exact role, only their qualifications (I Timothy 3:8-13). These men and women are an extension of the pastoral office. They assist the pastor(s) to extend their ministerial reach.