One Pastor and Church Government (Part 1) - Different Names for the Office of a Pastor

Watch the video of this sermon on YouTube: One Pastor and Church Government (Part 1). For a master copy of the outline and the other sermons in the series, click here: One Pastor. To listen to or watch the next sermon in the series, click here: Part 2. Some of the information in this outline was gleaned from Pastor Ben Townsend's book, In Defense of One Pastor. I. There are only two offices in the NT church today: pastors (bishops) and deacons (Phi 1:1). 1. The office of pastor or bishop (1Ti 3:1). A. The office of the pastor has several names which describe its different functions. i. A pastor (Eph 4:11). a. Pastor - Etymology L. pastor-em shepherd, lit. ‘feeder, giver of pasture’, 1. A herdsman or shepherd. 2. A shepherd of souls; one who has the spiritual oversight over a company or body of Christians, as bishop, priest, minister, etc.; spec. the minister in charge of a church or congregation, with particular reference to the spiritual care of his ‘flock’. b. Peter was a pastor (a feeder of the church) (Joh 21:15-17 c/w 1Pe 5:1-2). c. The elders of the church at Ephesus were likewise pastors (Act 20:17 c/w Act 20:28). d. As a pastor, the man of God spiritually feeds and cares for the church which is God's flock. ii. An elder (Tit 1:5; Act 14:23; Act 20:17 c/w 28; 1Ti 5:17; 1Pe 5:1-2). a. Elder - B. n. An elder person, lit. and fig. 1. a. A parent; an ancestor, forefather; hence, in wider sense, a predecessor, one who lived in former days. 4. a. In ecclesiastical use. ...the title given to a certain order or class of office-bearers in the early Christian Church.... b. As the elder, the pastor is to be viewed as the patriarch and mature leader of the church. iii. A bishop (1Ti 3:1-2; Tit 1:7; Php 1:1). a. Bishop - 1. A spiritual superintendent or overseer in the Christian Church. b. Superintendent - 1. a. An officer or official who has the chief charge, oversight, control, or direction of some business, institution, or works; an overseer. c. Oversight - 1. a. Supervision, superintendence, inspection; charge, care, management, control. d. Control - n. 1. a. The fact of controlling, or of checking and directing action; the function or power of directing and regulating; domination, command, sway. e. As the bishop, the pastor is a spiritual supervisor and overseer of the church who checks and directs its action. iv. An overseer (Act 20:28). a. Overseer - 1. a. One who oversees or superintends, a supervisor; esp. one whose business it is to superintend a piece of work, or a body of workmen; a superintendent (of workmen, slaves, convicts, etc.). b. As the overseer, the pastor oversees and superintends the membership of the church. v. A steward (Tit 1:7; Luk 12:42; 1Co 4:1-2). a. Steward - 1. a. An official who controls the domestic affairs of a household, supervising the service of his master's table, directing the domestics, and regulating household expenditure; a major-domo. b. As the steward, the pastor is the servant of Christ who has the control of the domestic affairs of the church, including a final say concerning its finances. vi. A minister (1Co 4:1; Act 26:16; Rom 15:16; Eph 3:7; Col 1:23; 1Th 3:2; 1Ti 4:6). a. Minister - 1. a. A servant, attendant. 2. a. One who acts under the authority of another; one who carries out executive duties as the agent or representative of a superior. b. As the minister, the pastor is a servant of Jesus Christ and of the His church. c. He is also a representative of Jesus Christ who carries out the executive duties which Christ gives him in His word. vii. A preacher (Rom 10:14; 2Ti 4:2) a. Preacher n. - One who preaches. 1. a. One who proclaims or sets forth religious doctrine by public discourse; one who delivers a sermon or sermons; esp. one whose occupation or function it is to preach the gospel; a minister of religion; spec. one licensed to preach. b. As a preacher, the pastor proclaims God's word to the church. B. These are all titles for the same office and are used interchangeably in the Bible. i. A pastor: a. A pastor is an overseer (Act 20:28). b. Since a bishop is an overseer, therefore a pastor is also a bishop. c. A pastor is an elder (Act 20:17 c/w Act 20:28; 1Pe 5:1-2). d. "That the “pastors” here were the bishops and presbyters of the Church, is evident from Act 20:28; 1Pe 5:1, 1Pe 5:2, where the bishops’ and presbyters’ office is said to be “to feed” the flock. The term, “shepherd” or “pastor,” is used of guiding and governing and not merely instructing, whence it is applied to kings, rather than prophets or priests (Eze 34:23; Jer 23:4)." (Jameson, Faussett, and Brown Commentary, commenting on Eph 4:11) ii. An elder: a. An elder is an overseer (Act 20:17 c/w Act 20:28). b. An elder is a bishop (Tit 1:5-7). c. An elder is a pastor (1Pe 5:1-2). iii. A bishop: a. A bishop is an elder (Tit 1:5-7). b. A bishop is an overseer and a steward (see definitions). c. Since a bishop is an overseer, and a pastor is an overseer, therefore a bishop is a pastor. iv. An overseer: a. An overseer is an elder (1Pe 5:1-2). b. An overseer is a pastor (Act 20:28). c. An overseer is a bishop and steward (see definitions). v. A steward: a. A steward is a bishop, which is an overseer (Tit 1:7). b. A steward is an elder (Tit 1:5-7). c. A steward is a minister (1Co 4:1). vi. A minister is a steward (1Co 4:1). vii. A preacher is a pastor (2Ti 4:2). viii. Therefore, the man given the charge of a church is its pastor, elder, bishop, overseer, steward, minister, and preacher.