Monday, December 22, 2008
Pastor - title or role?
It all comes down to either serving or being caught up in self-righteousness.
My prayer is that people know several things from scripture.
The term Pastor
comes to mind.
Here are some thoughts:
1. The only time the title of Pastor is mentioned as a title is the Chief pastor is Jesus.
2. Some are called to pastor, now called pastors, but to do the function.
3. Elders are to pastor.
Pastoring is a part of the many functions of what the Bishop, overseer or elder is to do.
It is another way to serve, shepherd the flock. Serving.
If you think "pastor" is a title and an office - then it is best to rethink it.
Even in the Restoration movement we use the term pastor = elder. But really the pastoring is a function of the elders.
Elders = office.
pastoring = role, function.
Overseeing what to be doing as well.
The duty is to pastor not be a pastor. Pastoring is more of a duty, gift, not a title. The elders were to pastor. The leadership is to pastor. In the RM movement there shouldn't be pastors but elders who do pastoring.
Now if they hire a "pastor" or an elder/minister - there should be a system in place to help make sure the leadership is on the same page and if some elders just don't like the Minister - a biblical way to handle it and accountability.
I recently came across a person who renamed themselves to "pastor Queen" so people can address her as such.
Now I don't mind the name change ... but sometimes titles are to be earned, and respect is to as well. (I don't know this person very well) but do know pastor is more like naming yourself "Servant/ shepherd" and probably not really the way they intended. And of course there is the issue of women being an elder (But that's another issue for another blog post)
I have some people that call me "Pastor" because of their own upbringing. In my own fellowship - we call what people call "pastors" "Ministers"; or even Evangelists but in a lot of ways we are elders doing the pastoring role as well.
Somehow I think our Christian culture has so caught up in semantics and titles that we forget ministry is about serving, leading, and pastoring people rather than trying to have a title just given to us. In denominational circles I know pastors are seen as a "Clergy" of sorts. And even pastors=elders. The big issue I have is having a "Single pastor" as in "The" pastor or using it as a title, rather than a function and having God use you as the Leader He has called.
I know ministry isn't for wimps but there tends to be some who think they just add "Pastor" in front of their name and that makes them qualified to run the church or ministry. There is a lot more to it than that my friends.