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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Office Of 'Pastor' Not Found In New Testament - By Zac Poonen

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Joined: 2018/2/26
Posts: 43
Orange County, CA

 Office Of 'Pastor' Not Found In New Testament - By Zac Poonen


 2022/9/30 10:20Profile

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 980
Pineville, LA

 Re: Office Of 'Pastor' Not Found In New Testament - By Zac Poonen

This is correct, although I would make this caveat:

There are examples of singular men leading Churches (Titus). These men were missionaries whose sole job was to build the church and then appoint elders.

I was asked one time to pastor a church. My response: I will only do it if the church accepts that they are a church plant, that they will allow me to come in order to train and appoint elders while under the authority of my church.


I bet you can imagine how that went!

 2022/9/30 13:31Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 4184

 Re: Office Of 'Pastor' Not Found In New Testament - By Zac Poonen

Acts 14:23
“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.”

From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.... He said unto them... Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:17-28)

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: (Phil. 1:1)

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:(Titus 1:5)

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (James 5:14)

Jesus Christ is the head of the church and the leader ship of the church from the beginning was a plurality no one man was over a local church according to the Scriptures.


 2022/9/30 15:23Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2069
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Office Of 'Pastor' Not Found In New Testament - By Zac Poonen

Pastor is mentioned in Eph. 4. But the word is the same as the word shepherd that is mentioned nine times in the NT, although most of these have to do with actually tending sheep.

But frequency of mention has nothing to do with importance of the gift. Sometimes the thing that is the most common has the least need for mention. I agree with something Mike said. Eldership is important to understand. The apostles appointed elders in each church. Among these elders I am sure there were those who had the office of pastor just as there were those who had the other four equipping offices. But not all elders were pastors. But the elders carried out the important job of oversight of the body which is a pastoring or shepherding role.

I remember a time when I was very adamant about leadership structure in the church, that there was a new testament pattern that had to be adhered to if it was to work. I have softened a lot on that belief. But I would say this. No one man was ever intended to lead a local church all by himself. One man might fill the office of pastor. One man might carry the call of God and vision for that local body. These two might not be the same man, and they might. But no one man was intended to be the only elder or overseer in a local body. I strongly believe in plurality of eldership and mutual submission to one another as they seek God together. But, there does have to be a buck stops here person in case of conflict. That has to be figured out, and the man carrying the vision for the body is probably that guy.

Anyway, pastoring and the office of a pastor is vitally important to the church. Now I guess we need to figure out if it was intended as five-fold or four-fold (pastor-teacher as one role). :-)


 2022/10/3 9:27Profile

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