During the times when the Bible was written the Christian church met in each others homes. Very similar to the way the Amish do it now a-days, (I know this because of my Amish heritage). Today most all churches meet in a church building. Although newer churches do meet in homes or other places until they are able to purchase there own building for their use. Each and every church must have elders. How many elders a church has depends on the size of the church.
According to the Bible the responsibilities of elders are:
*teach and preach (I Timothy 3:2; 5:17)
*direct the affairs of the church (I Timothy 3:5; 5:17)to Shepard "pastor" the flock of *God (Acts 2:28)
*guard the church from errors (Acts 20:28-31)
Based on my interpretations of the preceding verses there are three vital positions that must be filled as elders. The first position is the pastor/preacher each pastor/preacher is an elder. The second position and third position can be combined because I feel they are closely related. This position would act as a business magnet for the church. Business managers would direct the affairs of the church and make sure the church is kept from making errors.
The qualifications for an elder can be found in I Timothy 3. It is very good list of qualifications.
I will discuss the importance of deacons in the near future, it goes along with elders but they fulfil a different area of importance.