“May I speak to the Pastor ?” My typical answer, “The pastors do not have an office here at the building. I am an evangelist for this congregation, can I help you?”, is usually met with an awkward pause. Then sometimes, “Oh, OK, well Pastor, I would like to talk to you about...”
Denominational Pastor System A single person (sometimes a female, sometimes a younger man, sometimes single, sometimes childless), usually the one who does the preaching, who is accepted as the religious authority in a congregation. In some cases, the Pastor is the sole authority in the congregation. The church is “his” church, and he makes the decisions regarding work, money and doctrine.
Under the Denominational “Pastor” system Authority is unscripturally vested in a single individual. Women are placed in an office reserved for men. Men occupy a position who do not possess the scriptural qualifications established in 1 Timothy and Titus. Responsibilities of the offices of Preacher and Pastor are blurred.
The Office of Pastor Three Terms used for the office Pastor (poimen) Bishop (episkopos) Elder (presbuteros) Pastors are designated by three different terms in the New Testament Scriptures:
The Office of Pastor Pastor or Shepherd (poimen) “a shepherd, pastor; one who feeds the flock” Ephesians 4:11-13
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Note: Preachers can be pastors (cf. 1 Ti. 5:17)
The Office of Pastor Bishop or Overseer (episkopos) “a superintendent; one who is in charge or has the oversight of a church” Acts 20:28
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock (poimnion), among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (episkopos), to shepherd (poimaino) the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Note: Pastor and Overseer (Bishop), synonyms for the same office in the local church
The Office of Pastor Elder or Presbyter (presbuteros) “an older person, a senior” 1 Peter 5:1-4
The elders (presbuteros) who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd (feed, poimaino) the flock (poimnion) of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Other Truths: The Office of Pastor In the N.T. a plurality of elders were always appointed in each church –Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5
Acts 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Paul and Barnabas as Lystra, Iconium and Antioch
Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you--
Other Truths: The Office of Pastor In the N.T. a plurality of elders were always appointed in each church –Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5 There are prerequisites to the appointment to the office of Pastor (Qualifications) –1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9
1 Timothy 3:2-7 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?) 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Titus 1:6-9 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober- minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
Other Truths: The Office of Pastor In the N.T. a plurality of elders were always appointed in each church –Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5 There are prerequisites to the appointment to the office of Pastor (Qualifications) –1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9 Pastors in the New Testament are always men –Qualifications; Limits to women in the church (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
1 Timothy 2:11-12 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
Conclusion As in all things, the authority of scripture must be respected. There is a pattern clearly established in the church. I could theoretically serve, if scripturally qualified and appointed to the office. (Some men do serve both as elders and as ministers of the gospel). But, it is a different office, and a different work. So, I am not the Pastor!