What Are ‘Pastors’?

What is the ministry gift of “Pastors”? (Ephesians 4:11)

Some believe the term is probably synonymous with “elders”, “bishop”, “presbytery” and “governments”.

Or are “Pastors” a leading office over elders?

Others believe “Pastors”, like each of the other ascension-gift ministries listed in Ephesians 4:11, are traveling ministers to the wider Body of Christ, and therefore distinct from elders.

Or is Pastoral ministry always a local rather than a traveling ministry?

The seven churches in the Book of Revelation each appear to have one individual leader, called ‘angel’ (messenger). What office do these individuals hold – elder? “Pastor”? apostle?

What do YOU think?



  1. Pastors are to oversee the church.They are fathers of the church to make sure the sheep of God are well fed(word of God), well clothed (garment of righteousness)and so on.I don’t mean teachers , apostles prophets and evangelists aren’t responsible for these!Of course they are,but pastors are to oversee almost everything concerning the sheep.
    A simple explanation can be put this way;
    Evangelist/Apostle goes somewhere and preaches the gospel.People receives Jesus as their personal savior. Then teachers are on duty to teach them how to live Christian life,the life that pleases God.Pastor is in charge to see everything concerning the sheep and their welfare is smooth. I mean if two couples have problem with their marriage,Pastor is supposed to know first!Elders are just pastors assisting pastor.Prophet is there to correct the church,and sometimes Brings special messages from God.I’m not talking about spiritual gifts but rather the 5 ministry Jesus gave on Eph4
    This is from my understanding from the Bible

    ——-You Love Jesus? Serve Him!——–

  2. In the New Testament, the church was addressed at the level of a city, or at the level of “the church that meets in your house”. There were no independent “senior pastors”.

    The word pastor used in Ephesians 4:11 means “shepherd” so anyone assigned by God to shepherd the people of God is a pastor. As I understand it the word occurs ONCE in the New Testament. Elders and apostles are mentioned almost all the time in the New Testament.

    The people who were told to shepherd the people of God were the overseers. This greek word episkopos has been falsely transliterated as “bishop” but it means overseer. Paul called the elders of the church of Ephesus to him in Acts 20 and he told them to shepherd the church of God. And look at the way Peter talks in his letter to scattered Christians:

    “The elders [presbuteros] who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
    “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers [episkopeo], not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; ” (1 Peter 5:1,2)

    This verse links elders (the root idea is that of an old man, not a young hot shot) with the job of overseeing (being an overseer) and pastoring – that is feeding and tending the wounds of the people of God.

    I have a theory about “the angel of the church of Ephesus” and all that mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The word “angelos” used here means “messenger” or “angel”. I say it means “messenger” in this context since God did not need John to give the message to angels, He would have done it Himself if He wanted angels to know something, since they come and go from the throne of God.

    Perhaps these “messengers” were simply the couriers that took the messages John received on the isle of patmos to the respective churches. No doubt John got these messages delivered to the churches somehow. They did not have DHL or Fed Express – individuals would have had to come to John to receive the messages and deliver them to the elders of the churches that were overseeing the work of God in the respective regions.

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