Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Me and My Pastor.
What is a Pastor?
There are several names for Pastor in the Bible. They are:

  1. Pastor
    • The word pastor only occurs once in Bible (Jer:17:16)
    • This is considered the equivalent to under shepherd
    • Depending on church government can be elected or appointed
    • Elected in Baptist churches
    • Runs the church
    • Most churches have Deacons who serve as his extension
  2. Bishop (I Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:7; I Peter 2:25)
    • In the Bible this is same as Pastor or Under Shepherd
    • Some churches make this a separate office but no Biblical authority
    • Husband of one wife (rules out women)
  3. Elder (Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-2; 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1)
    • Same as Pastor
    • Some churches make this a separate office but no Biblical authority
    • Elder and Bishop mentioned in same passage (Titus 1:5-9)
  4. Priest (Book of Hebrews)
    • Generally Old Testament
    • Equivalent to Pastor
    • Jesus is the Great High Priest
  5. Under Shepherd (I Peter 2:25, 5:4)
    • Term Under Shepherd not in Bible; references  Great or Chief Shepherd
    • Same as Pastor
    • Jesus is the Shepherd, the pastor is the under shepherd

Different denominations treat these names in different ways. Bible believing Baptist churches identify Pastor, Bishop, Elder, and Under Shepherd as the same office.  The primary reason for this is that the Scriptural definitions of the office and the requirements for the office are very similar or the same.
You’d have to do an in-depth study of the subject to truly understand the differing titles, but the above is how I understand it. In general, the titles depict differing aspects of the same office.
But How Do I Interact with the Pastor?
Your view of the office will affect your interactions with the Pastor. The following is with pastor viewed as the Under Shepherd.

  • Highest officer of the local church
  • Called by God
  • Voted in by congregation
  • Equivalent to CEO

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
As a member of a local church I serve under the pastor at his direction. There may be others between him and me but he is the boss. There is one more aspect that we Christians have a problem with: namely that his rule appears to extend to our personal lives. Considering that each of us are also subject to God’s will and direction for our lives, our subjection to the pastor must be tempered by the knowledge that both he and I are subject to God.
I am not a theologian, but I think this means that as regarding our personal lives we must at the very least listen to the man of God. Does his advice, warning, etc. align with God’s Word? Is his advice, warnings, etc. Biblical or based simply on experience?
I say this because the pastor doesn’t always know all the circumstances of your life. I had one pastor advise me on secular work. I followed it and later regretted it.
I think the key is the phrase: “they must give account” for our souls. This implies moral and spiritual responsibility.
You may differ with me on this, but I conclude with this final statement:
A Christian is subject to the moral and spiritual leadership of his pastor. As such a Christian should submit to that leadership. Outside the church the personal lives are still to be governed by the moral and spiritual leadership of the pastor. It is also advisable to listen to the pastor’s advice about secular work or plans, but does not require submission. Sometimes the pastor’s advice is based on countless dealings with people and seeing wrong decisions and the results. His advice can at least provide you guidance in your decision making.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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