I have been in full time youth ministry for 8 years and have spent 7 of those as an elder in the churches that I have served. I find it extremely beneficial to my work in the church to be at the council and elders meetings. I should clarify that I am ordained within the local church as an elder and not as a ministry associate or minister of the word. Questions that have been posed: What happens if new ministry staff comes on board? Are they automatically elders? Is it healthy for a council led church to have full time staff as a permanent part of council as an elder or deacon? I know the benefits that I receive from being part of the bigger picture of the church. I am curious how other churches handle the "staff interaction with council" beast.