Pastors’ Corner (Definition, Qualifications & Duties)
A pastor is a minister or priest of a Christian church. The word pastōr means shepherd—a person in authority in charge of their flock’s (members’) spiritual growth. Most churches have an assistant to the pastor, either called an elder, assistant pastor, or evangelist. Member (Layman) volunteers, male or female, also help the pastor when needed and are sometimes called an associate and act as an advisor to the sitting pastor.
A Bishop is a position of authority and an ordained member of the Christian ministry. The ordination of a bishop is performed or witnessed by several bishops; a single bishop performs the ordination of a pastor, a priest, or an evangelist. The ordination of a bishop is also called a consecration, which is the act of offering oneself to the service and worshipping God. Consecration is also dedicated to higher ground or intention. The roles of a bishop depend on various denominations or church orders. They are the overseer of the church’s growth.
Apostolic succession is not biblical, therefore, not found in the Holy Bible, and no written scripture supports it. The essential qualification of the apostles was that they were chosen directly by Jesus; they saw Jesus. They were with Jesus during the ministerial days and witnessed the resurrected Jesus Christ. The idea of “apostolic succession” is a Catholic doctrine pointing to Mathias being chosen to succeed Judas as an example of apostolic succession. This is not even close to justifying Peter as overseer of the apostles. It could be that the apostle Peter was a leader of the apostles, yet Jesus’ brother James also had prominent leadership roles and led the church in Jerusalem, so Paul’s leadership could not be ignored.
However, there is no doubt Peter was a leader, not the supreme leader with supreme authority over the other apostles. The apostle Paul rebuked Peter when Peter was leading others astray (Galatians 2:11-14). Nowhere in the New Testament ever recorded apostolic authority passed to a successor. Nowhere do any apostles mention that they will pass their apostolic authority. Jesus ordained the apostles to build the church’s foundation (Ephesians 2:20). The church needs the apostles’ teachings as they are written accurately and with no perversion at all. And that is precisely what God has provided in His Word ( 2 Timothy 2:15). Preach the word of God exactly as it is written and not be twisted to accumulate wealth; always be prepared and ready to give out the truth in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke those who do wrong, and exhort to those who are confused, with complete patience and resilient in teaching, you may gain the trust of the seekers of the truth.
At the same time, no defender of the personal apostolic succession of bishops would deny the importance of doctrinal continuity in the Church. Some early church fathers denied the apostolic succession, and some defended it.
- Husband of one wife; a one-woman man (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6)
- Temperate, sober, vigilant (1 Timothy 3:2)
- Sober-minded, prudent (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8)
- Of good behavior; orderly, respectable (1 Timothy 3:2)
- Given to hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
- Apt to teach; able to teach; he can exhort believers and refute false teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)
- Not given to wine (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
- Not violent, not pugnacious (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
- Patient, moderate, forbearing, gentle (1 Timothy 3:3)
- Not a brawler; uncontentious; not soon angry or quick tempered (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
- Not covetous; not a lover of money; not greedy of base gain (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
- Rules well his own house; his children are faithful, not accused of rebellion to God (1 Timothy 3:4, Titus 1:7)
- Not a novice; not a new convert (1 Timothy 3:6)
- Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)
- A lover of what is good (Titus 1:7)
- Just fair (Titus 1:8)
- Holy, devout (Titus 1:8)
- Self-Controlled (Titus 1:8)
Husband of one wife; a one-woman man; Temperate, sober, vigilant, Sober-minded, prudent, good behavior; orderly, respectable, given to hospitality, apt to teach; able to teach; he can exhort believers and refute false teaching, not given to wine, Not violent, not pugnacious, patient, moderate, forbearing, gentle, not a brawler; uncontentious; not soon angry or quick-tempered, not covetous; not a lover of money; not greedy of base gain, rules well his own house; his children are faithful, not accused of rebellion to God, not a novice; not a new convert, not self-willed, a lover of what is good, just, fair, Holy, devout, self-controlled, (1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 1 Timothy 3:4, 1 Timothy 3:6, Titus 1:6, Titus 1:7, Titus 1:8, Titus 1:9)
To honorably rule and labor blamelessly inside and outside own household and acknowledge workers in the Lord. (1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Timothy 3:2, 4).
Be obedient to overseers, for they are accountable to your growth in spirit and profitable to your soul. (Hebrews 13:17).
To shepherd the flock. While setting an excellent example to followers, be humble (1 Peter 5:1-5).
Take good care of the church of God and recognize others that labor in the Lord (Acts 20:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:12).
Acknowledge the workers with double honor, especially those that teach and preach sound doctrine (1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:9).
Let the elders use their gift as much as yours with care and purity. (Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 4:14; 5:22).
To ensure that the church is in order, appoint leaders if necessary (Titus 1:5).
To rebuke those who are doing wrong and encourage those who get lost. (Titus 1:9, 13).
Keep watch over and give account to God for the spiritual well-being of the church (Hebrews 13:17).