Is the Pastoral Role Biblical?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Link, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. Link

    Link
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    Is the modern role of pastor Biblical? I am not talking about the role mentioned in Ephesians 4:11, but about the modern role of 'pastor.'

    What I see in scripture is that the apostles appointed elders, who were commanded to 'pastor' the church of God. (Acts 20:28, I Peter 5.) THese men are referred to as overseers (traditionally 'bishops.') (Acts 20:28, I Timothy 3. Titus 1.)

    The elders served in a plurality, a group. They were the elders of the church, not one elder.

    Elders were charged with pastoring the church of God, not just sitting on a board and making decisions.

    Elders were appointed FROM WITHIN the congregation. They were not hired from without. They were already a part of their respective church communities.

    Elders were strictly commanded not to pastor 'for filthy lucre.' If someone turns down a pastorate because the salary is less than at another church, what does that say.

    'Elder' also implies age, since the word can be translated 'older man.' The use of the Greek word in I Timothy 5:1 and 5:17. Also, notice the contrast between addressing elders, charged with pastoring, and addressing the 'younger' in I Peter 5:5.

    How does the modern practice stand up in light of scripture? What is the Biblical basis for the one-man hired pastorate. I've looked all over my Bible for it, and I cannot find it. It's not in there.
     
  2. NateT

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    I believe that a church should be run by a plurality of elders. And I think you're on to something that most of them should come from within the church. However, I can see a case where the preaching elder would come from without, and then he could train others and raise them up from within the church.

    As to turning down one church for another, I don't think that meets the criteria of "filthy lucre." If one church offered about 1/2 of what a pastor and his family need to live on and he took a church that paid exactly what they needed, it wouldn't be filthy. Even though you could say that he turned down one church so that he could take a pastorate that would pay him twice as much.
     
  3. exscentric

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    Hi link, would agree. As to all coming from within, I also agree that would be best, however IF - one has to come from outside I would place a one or two year "trial" period before it became permanent so that the man could be seen in action, evaluated as to spiritual qualifications etc.

    I would also request a number of references and check them before asking someone to come to candidate.
     
  4. Circuitrider

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    One might consider that the NT church of the First century met in homes, was decentralized and probably was quite different than our churches today. If we are going to try to use the NT methods we might have to change our complete concept of the local church. :eek: Plurality of elders was necessary for the decentrailized church.

    Today our churches are more centrally located and do not need a board to run them. The NT clearly uses the names of pastor, elder and bishop interchangeably, and there is no reason it cannot be one man in smaller church. Our church which is quite large has plurality of elders. senior pastor, associate pastor, youth pastor, and two part-time assistants. [​IMG]

    As to where he comes from, inside, outside, it probably does not make much difference. Our mobile society is quite different from the First Century when a man might never leave his home town. Let's use good common sense in our application of biblical truth to our day and realize that our church is probably quite like the NT one in doctrine and varied in practice. [​IMG]
     
  5. TexasSky

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    I bet a great many Pastors would LOVE to split up their work load with dedicated men willing to do what they have to do each and every day.

    Unfortunately - there are a lot of people who want to make rules, and few people who want to get up at 3:00 in the morning to try to comfort the family whose teenage, drug abusing, unsaved child was just killed in a drive-by shooting.

    Plus - I think it must have been easier, when the church had 12 members, to know who you could trust to use Christian judgment and standards than it is in today's world where some churches boast of memberships larger than some small town populations.
     
  6. exscentric

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    "we might have to change our complete concept of the local church."

    Oh, mercy, we should never do that.

    What is so sacred about a not necessarily sacred way of doing things?

    "As to where he comes from, inside, outside, it probably does not make much difference. Our mobile society is quite different"

    Uuuh, so we don't need to do it the Bible way because we are different?

    Actually, talk to some of the churches that have called, what they were thinking was a good man and finding later that they got a lemon, would differ on your "does not make much difference."

    That is the point of homegrown leaders, you know what you have from years of watching them.

    In my mind elders are not paid pastors though the teaching elder might well be. Elders were called from the congregation, not hired from outside.
     
  7. JGrubbs

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    That sounds like a great idea to me!!
    <a href="http://www.daveblackonline.com/unleashing.htm" target="_blank">
    Unleashing the Church</a>
     
  8. Link

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    Circuitrider

    Paul wrote for his readers to keep the traditions that he had handed down to him. He once commended the Corinthians for keeping certain of the ordinances he passed down to them.

    What can we infer? That apostolic example is authoratative.

    If the apostles appointed church leadership made up of a plurality of elders who met Biblical qualifications, should we subsitute this apostolic practice-- and Bilbical teaching-- with the modern professional practice tradition?

    The practice of having several 'professional pastors' in a congregation is not the same thing as Biblical elders. For one thing, in many churches that have many professional pastors, none of them come from within the local community, but in the Bible, the elders were appointed from among the brethren. Many modern pastors are 'youngers' rather than 'elders.' It seems rare for churches to actually receive pastors based on how well they fit the Biblical qualifications for overseer. Bible college or seminary degrees and speaking ability are two top criteria used these days.

    The professional pastor system also blocks out Biblically qualified men who did not take the professional clergy career track.

    I see nothing about the modern extra-Biblical church system that makes it more suited to the current cultural context than the Biblical system. Today, people long for community, since the practice of community is rare. The institutional church does not generally provide this, particularly in places where there is no community. The type of meetings the early church had would satisfy this need for real relationships with other believers.
     

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