In the epistle to the Ephesians Paul tells us that “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11 NKJV). Some versions put Pastors and teachers as same gift though seemingly linked, they are not the same. To some extent all pastors are supposed to be teachers, but it is very true that not all teachers are pastors.
Scripture reveals that a Pastor is someone with a special gift to lead the local church with the abilities given to him or her by God. A pastor is supernaturally called by God to oversee a group of believers. The pastor is to be the teaching elder. In the New Testament he is also called “shepherd,” or “bishop.” In fact, the word translated pastor in Ephesians 4:11 comes from a word that means, “to shepherd.”(What one does while overseeing concerns how the pastor does it) Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28 NKJV).
The pastor is an overseer of God’s flock. The Pastor is to Teach and guide the local Congregation. The pastor is to equip and enable the believers to do the work of the ministry. Jesus said to his disciples, “Feed My lambs” (John 21:15).Just as a physical shepherd must feed the sheep so they do not starve, a pastor must feed the people in the spiritual realm so they can grow stronger in Christ. Pastors are to be Examples as Peter mentions “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers— not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2, 3 NIV).
The Pastor is to be a Servant of Christ to shepherd the congregation. He is not to be a tyrant or dictator but rather to provide spiritual leadership. He or she is to serve the people, not to be served by them. He or she should follow the example of Jesus who came to serve, not to be served. Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28 ESV).
Paul gives several qualities of a Pastor as follows; For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered , not addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it Titus 1:7-9.
The gift of pastor is a calling, not a profession. It is not an appointment by any human being but rather an appointment by God. If God has called a person to be the pastor of a local church that calling will be recognized. The Pastor acts on behalf of Christ who is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 1:18).
The Very Rev. Canon Dr. Rebecca Nyegenye,