This book is written for the ordinary church member and gives a most helpful overview of the office and functions of the ruling elder. Its brief chapters, straightforward style and consistent reference to Scripture helps in this aim.As its title suggests, the author covers the relevant historical background (especially the Reformation) and the biblical warrant and qualifications for the eldership. The importance of the eldership is clearly argued from biblical principles, as are the reasons why women do not qualify for this office. There are also profitable insights on subjects such as the need for ruling elders to have a sense of calling to their work and the way that the eldership must work collectively.The book is very practical in counselling the elder how he should go about the work of praying and caring for the flock over which he has oversight. The elder’s study and use of time is also considered.Although written from a Presbyterian perspective, the focus is upon the local congregation and those in independent churches will find it equally helpful. There are very few books on this important subject and this publication will be of great value to ministers, elders and church members.