Summary: Let us now examine the most Biblically undefined office, the Pastor. This office over many years of church history has been run down, despised, overlooked, traditionalized, glorified, idolized, and even cherished, but always misunderstood.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” Ephesians 4:11
Let us now examine the most Biblically undefined office, the Pastor. This office over many years of church history has been run down, despised, overlooked, traditionalized, glorified, idolized, and even cherished, but always misunderstood. With God’s help, we will examine it and attempt to place it in its proper place of importance and honor. The office of a pastor is just one of the five Administrative Gifts. It is not mentioned above or below any other, but in conjunction with the others. All the Administrative Gifts are intended to work in unison. This operational unity of the Gifts is very important. When these Gifts are properly used, they have specific beneficial purposes (Ephesians 4:12–16). They are:
1. for the equipping of the saint.
2. for the edifying of the body of Christ.
3. for unity of the faith.
4. for the knowledge of the Son of God.
5. for us to become a perfect man.
6. for the fullness of Christ.
7. that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro.
8. so we are not carried about with every wind of doctrine.
9. so that we can speak the truth in love.
10. so that we may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.
11. for the effective working by which every part does its share.
12. to causes growth of the body.
13. for the edifying of itself in love.
God did not say any one office or combination of offices, would accomplish all this. These five offices must all work together in unison in order to achieve the best God has intended for His Body. Many Bible scholars have improperly incorporated the apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, and teaching aspects of the ministry into the job description of a pastor. While this is partially true, for a pastor must have ability to do them all, it is not true that the pastor is called to do them all. That is where the error lies. Because of this misunderstanding, many pastors try to be all things for their people; the result is that they usually fail, get burned out, discouraged and then leave. This overloading of responsibly also greatly dilutes their effectiveness. This ineffectiveness results in the church being improperly equipped with the power and direction needed for the work God intended. This responsibility overload can also be attributed to the laity not stepping up into the calling God has placed upon them. It can also be due to the Pastor’s inability to release control of any part of the ministry due to pride, arrogance, mistrust, lack of scriptural knowledge, insight, or in many cases a combination of all these factors. These pastors sincerely believe they are doing what is best for their flock, but they are sincerely mistaken. They are in fact doing the opposite by not allowing the implementation and operation of the proper apostolic order found in Ephesians 4:11. This is the main reason for the failure of many modern day churches to exhibit the omnipotent power and presence of God.
Another reason for the Church’s ineffectiveness is that the office of a pastor is not one born out of the natural extension of the will, intellect, abilities, qualifications, or principles of man. Nor is the position of a pastor or any position found in Ephesians 4:11 one that you can train yourself for, with the intent of one day becoming. No position is earned; it is a gift (And He Himself gave some, Ephesians 4:11). You do not train yourself to become a pastor unless you already know you are called to be a pastor. Otherwise, the results will be ineffective at best.
Proper Christian training comes by doing two things. First: Rightly dividing the Word of God, so that if God does call someone to ministry, in whatever position He might choose, he will then be empowered to be a workman of God (2nd Timothy 2:15). Second: Work hard at knowing God intimately and constantly work at aligning one’s lifestyle in accordance with His Word. Let us look at 2nd Corinthians 3:2 for why this is so important. This will help us to recognize and obey His calling. No matter one’s qualifications or how much he studies, work, and desires to obtain a position; it will not be blessed by God unless God appoints him. It is only the Christian that knows God intimately and has the appropriate lifestyle who will be absolutely certain that God has called him to a specific ministry. It is only once a minister places himself in the center of God’s will that his calling may truly be blessed of God. Non-compliance with these simple God ordained protocols has caused scriptural obscureness, inconsistency, lack of power, direction, and scriptural error to infiltrate the Church. Many churches have not chosen those whom God has called and appointed. They have relied upon a candidate’s earthly qualifications, training, looks, style, charisma or how that candidate fits into their personal agenda. The only way to receive all the benefits of God’s plan for the Church is to go back and properly establish the divine apostolic order which is based on men God has chosen, and not on man’s fleshly perception of a candidate (1st Samuel 16:7). But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."