C hu r ch O r d e r 43 that each one can flourish with the fullness of life of the gospel. They both must seek to be led by the Spirit in offering counsel and guidance in reverence for any soul who turns to them for advice or to find freedom from sin through confession. A servant of the Word is charged to express that which is from God and which moves in the hearts of the members. He is authorized to baptize, to serve the Lord’s Supper, to perform weddings, and to pronounce forgiveness of sins. A servant of the Word must be ready at all times to be sent out to proclaim the gospel, wherever the church community may send him. Ultimately, carrying out the service of the Word simply involves a sharpening and intensification of the respon- sibilities laid on every member. This also holds true the other way around: every member is called to carry out the shepherd’s task in his or her own family and sphere of life, caring for souls and proclaiming the gospel. 52 Just as a ship needs a helmsman, so the church ­community needs clear leadership. For this reason, the body of members unanimously commissions one brother for the shepherd’s task for the church ­community as a whole, to serve together with his wife for as long as he is able. Known as the elder, he is entrusted to the fullest degree with the care of souls, the spiritual oversight of all communities, the order and authority of the church, and the proclamation of the gospel. John 10:10 Acts 20:28–35; Gal 6:1 Jas 5:14–16 1 Cor 2:12–16 Matt 16:18–19 Matt 28:18–20 2 Tim 4:1–5 1 Pet 2:9 Gal 6:2; Phil 1:27–28 Eph 4:11–13