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What is a pastor?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by cdj, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. What is a pastor?

    Preachers ARE NOT Pastors. The New Testament does not refer to its evangelists or preachers as pastors. This is a DENOMINATIONAL misuse of the term. Nor is there a difference between an evangelist and a gospel preacher, a man who preachers for a local church as Timothy did in Ephesus.

    The ONE place where the Greek “POIMEN” is translated “pastors” (always in the plural) in the English N.T. is Eph 4:11. “ And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;…”

    There is a very clear line of distinction between evangelists and pastors. An evangelist is a preacher and a pastor is an elder.

    Three Greek words describe an elder:

    Presbuteros – translated “presbyter,” or “elder.”
    Episkopos – translated “bishop” or “overseer.”
    Poimen – translated “pastor” or “shepherd.”

    IN acts 20:17-28 all three Greek words are used to refer to the same group of men – elders.
    Verse 17 Paul calls to them “elders in the church” at Ephesus.
    The same verse says that they met him at Miletus.
    Beginning at verse 18 the apostle addresses the elders and his address is recorded through verse 35.
    In verse 28 Paul is yet speaking to these elders and charges them: “take heed unto yourselves and to all th flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops.” Notice carefully, the spostle address the ELDERS and says that th Holy Spirit made them BISHOPS. Thus elders and bishops are the same thing. An elder (Presbuteros) is the same as a bishop (episkopos). (Greek epi = "over" & skopos = scope... like on a rifle, therefore "overseer")

    Further, to the elder, the bishops, Paul continues to say that they are to “feed the church of the Lord” (Acts 20:28) What are they to do? They are to “FEED” the church. This word “feed” is the Greek word POIMAINO. It is the VERB form of the word POIMEN which is translated “pastor” or “shepherd.” The verb is also translated “pastor” or “shepherd,” and here it is translated “feed.”
    Therefore, shepherds shepherd flocks, and pastors pastor sheep. The noun and the verb can be translated in the same way.
    You might say, “feeders feed. But the point is that to “feed” is actually to “pastor,” or to “shepherd,” and this is what the apostle tells the elders or the bishops to do.
    The elders (PRESBUTEROS) or bishops (EIPSKOPOS) are to feed (POIMAINO) the church. All three Greek words are not to be distinguished from each other.

    Also, in 1 Peter 5:1,2 we see all three Greek words used again.

    KJV 1 Peter 5:1 The elders (PRESBUTEROS) which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
    2 Feed (POIMAINO) the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight (EPISKOPOS) thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind

    In Titus 1:5-7 you see two of the Greek words used with eldership duties.

    When Christ started the church in the first century, groups of Christians assembled, called churches, and were overseen by an eldership. They had a minister (not called pastor) and deacons. Each church group was autonomous and it's own eldership oversaw that particular group, but DID NOT
    have any authority over other groups.
    Today we have over 922,000 denominations and growing by five each day. We ALL need to go back to the New Covenant teachings.

    Your servant in Messiah, Jesus
    Semper Fi,

    "Knowledge gained and not shared is knowledge stolen" -Mark Davis, a minister
  2. Good post!
    Duties do not fully describe anyones gifts, the gifts describe the duties. Sometimes people do nothing because they feel unqualified when in fact God gives gifts to the called, He's not calling gifts. At times pastors are preaching and preachers are ministering to the needs of the saints, as circumstances can demand. It is good to have a proper understanding of the roles of workers in the church. The teaching elder should be devoted to the word of God while other elders do the work of ministry within the local church.
    In my home Local church I am an elder, not the teaching elder.
    In have a small journey group that meets in my home, there I am a pastor.
    My home local church ordained me to go outside the church walls. That is my ministry, in that role I am a preacher.

    Every beleiver is called to share Jesus with the lost world.

    A person can have more than one gift and use those gifts, as long as they understand and work within the role of service they are in, at any given time. And if another role comes along and the person meets the biblical requirments of the role God can bring the gifts to the person. I have personally seen a shy person become one of the most amazing speakers. It's taking the first step in faith that brings God the glory and not the person.
  3. This was covered a couple years ago by a CFS member and I like your presentation as well, because it goes into more historical and biblical detail.

    As you have stated, Pastors are those who fulfill the spiritual teaching needs of those who wish to hear the Word of God... "Feeding the Flock with Knowledge of The Word of God". Most Pastors teach chapter by chapter and verse by verse, unlike preachers or ministers who rarely teach at all and just concentrate on sinners and redemption in a reoccuring theme.

    Each denomination selects the type of leadership that they desire to carry on the traditions of that denomination.

    But Pastors, for the most part, are non-denominational and report only to God and only teach His Word.

    Thank you for the analysis - it was very refreshing and I hope that our members will use their discernment to see the differences.

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