are ordained United Methodist clergy who preach and teach the Word of God, provide pastoral care and counsel, administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and order the life of the church for service in mission in ministry. The servant leadership of the elder, in both parish and extension ministries, expressed by leading the people of God in worship and prayer, leading people to faith in Jesus Christ, exercising pastoral supervision, and ordering the Church in mission in the world. They serve as parish pastors, but may also serve in extension ministries such as chaplaincy. They are itinerant (amenable to assignment and appointment by the bishop). They are members of the annual conference session, with the rights and responsibilities this entails.
Local pastors are not ordained but are licensed to preach and conduct divine worship and perform the duties of a pastor (as listed above). They are appointed, but need not make themselves available as itinerant ministers. Local pastors may also serve in extension ministries settings. They are not elected into membership of the annual conference.
Watch this video to get an overview of the ministry of elder in The United Methodist Church.