Summary: This is a sermon that deals with the role of Elders as the Spiritual leaders of the Church.

Identity Crisis: Who is this Man of God?

(Elder, Overseer, Shepherd, Pastor, Bishop, Steward?)

1Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-22; 1 Timothy 5:17-22

Dorn Ridge June 09 and June 16, 2013

[Because of the length of this message, I divided it up preaching it over two Sundays.]


link an MP3 recording of the first half of this message delivered June 9, 2013.

link an MP3 recording of the second half of this message delivered June 16, 2013:



1.) Within the Church of Jesus Christ there is an office that has over the majority of the years of the church had to deal with an identity Crisis.

2.) The Bible speaks of leaders in the church with the titles of: Pastor, Shepherd, Bishop, Overseer, and Elder.

3.) Over the history of the church these titles have been broken up, and used to refer to different offices, some of which are Biblical, some which are not.

A.) This week, and next week I want us to look at 1 Timothy 3 as we come to try and understand a bit more of this office.

B.) It may surprise us in these sermons to see that though they have been separated into different offices, that my understanding of Scripture is that each of these titles refers to the exact same office within the church.


1.) A man must desire the office.

-- 1 Timothy 3:1

A.) The first qualification that the Word of God gives on the office of the elder is that he must desire the office.

aa.) The task of the Eldership is an important role within the church.

aaa.) It is not to be taken as a casual office, but one of great importance.

aab.) As such God realized it would best be accomplished by those willing to honour and desire the position.

ab.) The elders are to have the authority for spiritual matters of the church.

aba.) One of the problems that often takes place within the church is that a man may not necessarily

desire the task, but is sometimes railroaded into the position, regardless if he is qualified or not, just to have the office filled.

abb.) the Church of Jesus Christ is important enough that God wants men in the office who want to be serving Christ in the Leadership of the Church.

B.) the other side of desiring the office is that there needs to also be caution at times, because sometimes a man can desire the office too much.

ba.) There have been times that someone will desire the office for their own prestige, or power, and even campaign for it.

bb.) Sometimes, such a one may be looking at the office of the Eldership for the wrong reasons.

bba.) Sometimes a man may desire the office for the reason of promoting his own personal agenda, rather than working to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

2.) The office has different titles in Scripture, and the

titles help to describe the office.

A.) The First Word is Pastor.

aa.) The Greek word that is used here is “Poimayne”.

ab.) Sometimes this word will be translated as “Pastor”, but it is the exact same word that is also translated as “Shepherd”.

aba.) It is a word whose root meaning refers to a man who would tend a flock of sheep that are out to pasture.

abb.) 1 Peter 5:1-2; Eph. 4:11

ac.) This word for a sheep farmer is the exact same word that often will be used to describe the elders of the church.

aca.) Today when we have come to hear the term pastor, it is a term that the church has incorrectly used to label the preacher, and no other within the Church.

acb.) I want to stress that that to use this term in reference to a preaching minister of the church is correct in that it is one of the roles he is to play as an Elder of the church.

acb-1.) Yet at the same time it is wrong to use that term exclusively in reference to only the preaching minister.

acb-2.) To be true to the Word of God, this term would be equally correctly used with each of the elders of the Church.

acb-3.) If I was to call Hilton or Raymond a pastor of this church, many of you would look at me with questioning looks and feel that I was inappropriate in using that term on them.

acb-4.) Many would feel it inappropriate because our culture and the church have both conditioned us to use this term only with the paid Elders who preaches from the pulpit.

acb-5.) Biblically these men would all be considered to be Pastors of this church.

B.) The second word Is Bishop.

ba.) Bishop or overseer comes from the Greek word Episcopos.

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