What sort of a “Pastor” are you?

Today, in our current ecclesiastical vernacular, there are all sorts of titles for one to choose. A partial list includes:

  • Senior Pastor
  • Associate Pastor
  • Assistant Pastor
  • Preaching Pastor
  • Vision Pastor
  • Lead Pastor
  • Executive Pastor
  • Administrative Pastor
  • Missions Pastor
  • Campus Pastor
  • Counseling Pastor
  • Small Groups Pastor
  • Evangelism Pastor
  • Urban Pastor
  • Senior’s Pastor
  • Men’s Pastor
  • Women’s Pastor
  • Youth Pastor
  • Children’s Pastor
  • Bi-vocational Pastor
  • Lay Pastor
  • Pastor Emeritus
  • Ruling Elder
  • Teaching Elder
  • Active Elder
  • Inactive Elder
  • Minister
  • Reverend
  • Right Reverend
  • Apostle
  • Pope
  • Cardinal
  • Archbishop
  • Bishop
  • Father
  • Priest
  • Preacher

I am not really troubled by the number of titles listed above. They clarify certain gifting, pinpoint specific areas of responsibility, and aid in communication within local church bodies.

Even at this stage in my life and ministry, I have recently transitioned from being a Senior Pastor. Currently, I am an Assistant Pastor with two more titles: Church Revitalization Pastor and National Missions Pastor.

No my friends, I am not really troubled by all the variations, descriptors, and adjectives used in modern-day ministries … so long as “the main thing remains the main thing.”

Brothers, the word “pastor” is not an inspired biblical word, but it an important beautiful word describing an important biblical work. “Pastor” is an English term stemming from the Latin word “shepherd.” One must understand it to be both a noun and a verb. And through this English word, we describe the one who senses the call of Christ and hears the call of a congregation to sacrifice himself in feeding, leading, organizing, nourishing, washing, healing, gathering, disciplining, and protecting those within his charge.

Therefore, that being said, despite all the adjectives listed above, I might say there are really only two sorts of pastors:

  • Rebellious Pastor
  • Repentant Pastor

Fellow minister, there are none of us who always, faithfully, perfectly, and selflessly, shepherd the flock of Christ after the model of Christ. We all fall short of God’s pastoral law and are derelict in our duties in one way or another. We do not study enough, pray enough, teach enough, counsel enough, meet enough, disciple enough, discipline enough, and endure enough, and all of this because we do not love enough.

Thankfully we and others are perpetually loved by the Chief Shepherd.

But today, will we continue to dishonor Christ and harm those placed under our care, or will we bow the knee one more time, remember God’s law, remember God’s Gospel, and respond appropriately with heart-felt, confident, and ambitious repentance.

Let’s repent! Let’s rejoice! Let’s once again recommit ourselves to:

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.  (Acts 20:28)

This is what we do as those loved by Christ.

This is what we do as those who love Christ.

This is what we do, for we have been called by Christ and our congregation to be their “Pastors.”

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