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Who Is Over Whom?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TCGreek, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek New Member

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    I have heard different views on this issue over the years since I have been in the ministry:

    1. Are the elders over the congregation and the pastor?

    2. Are the elders just over the congregation and not the pastor?

    3. Is the pastor over the elders and the congregation?

    4. Are the pastor and the elders as they serve alongside each other,over the congregation?

    How do you understand this whole leadership dynamic?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>

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    To ask if the elders are over the pastor is an incoherent question since elders are pastors.

    The relationship between the elders/pastors and the congregation is one of balanced tension. The elders are to lead and rule, but the congregation has the authority. In essence, the congregation calls the pastor(s) and agrees to submit to his (their) leadership. If they don't like it, they vote him out.
     
  3. TCGreek

    TCGreek New Member

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    I understand that pastors are elders in the biblical sense of the word. No one on this forum who knows the Scripture would doubt that. That is not the point. That is for another thread.

    I am sorry you couldn't get past that.
     
  4. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

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    None of the above. Baptists are congregationally governed.
    I too am puzzled by the apparent suggestion of a pastor / elders dichotomy.
    Historically, Baptists have overwhelmingly rejected "ruling elders."
    There are no elders but pastors.
     
  5. TCGreek

    TCGreek New Member

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    Then we should not have on our websites and church bulletins: Senior pastor, associate pastor, youth pastor, and so on. We should discard all of that.

    The term pastor has evolved to mean the preacher. In bible times elders were pastors and vice versa. Any good bible dictionary would reveal that. So let get pass that and get back to the question: Who is over Whom?
     
  6. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>

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    Then you ask an incoherent question. You are asking if pastors are over pastors and the congregation, and three variations of it. How can that even make sense?

    When you ask a question with a faulty premise it is hard to answer it.

    The fact still remains that the pastors/elders lead and rule over the church, and the congregation has authority.
     
  7. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman Active Member

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    What does over mean?
     
  8. webdog

    webdog Active Member

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    Baptist churches are autonomous in nature. My church is not congregationally governed, but biblically governed (plurality of elders).
     
  9. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

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    From the constitutions of leading "plural elders" Baptist churches:

    "Under the authority of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, the Congregation of the Church is the final authority within this local Church."
    --Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper)

    "Under Christ this congregation is governed by its members."
    --Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Mark Dever)
     
  10. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    In my opinion, the mega churches, and churches that adopt certain titles, are simply trying to equate themselves with commerce. A pastor is a pastor is a pastor, who provides spiritual leadership to a congregation and church community. It is not a question of power. The congregation has the "power" to dismiss the pastor, and not the reverse. From there we may have a pastor and subsequently assistant pastors. They don't lead by degree, and all may equally preach and teach. Assistant pastors were often students in a learning position, but none the less a "pastor" by calling and adoption by a congregation. The congregation will be there long after the pastor is gone.

    Perhaps it is time to put semantics behind and once again start leadiing the people in the ways they should go, according to the word.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. humblejohn

    humblejohn New Member

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    God set in the church first, apostles, then prophets.....sent by God, not elected but selected...being set in the church first, they have the authority over a particular church amen..:thumbs: All through the bible we can see that when God did something, he operated through His chosen servant every time, with His spirit. Jesus was a servant to God, Abraham, Moses Joshua David, Peter Paul, Barnabus Timothy etc. .
     
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