Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth in Love

Is Your Pastor Qualified?

It is common to hear religious people in normal conversation speaking of “their pastor”. Even on TV ads inviting people to their church, the pastor of the congregation will be the one doing the inviting. Many times these “pastors” are very young and have very small children, if any at all. They seem to always be referred to in the singular also. What we would like to do this evening is answer the question “Is Your Pastor Qualified?” We want to answer this question from the Bible. If you have one with you, please open it up and follow along with us. The scriptures will appear on the screen to help you. And as always, we want you to read for yourself what God is saying to you.


Pastors spoken of in the New Testament


1. Shepherd (Acts 20:281 Peter 5:1-4)


2. Presbytery or eldership (1 Timothy 4:14) – This term is translated “presbytery” in the KJV and the NAS and “eldership” in the NKJ. This term refers to multiple elders or bishops in a local congregation.


3. Elders (Acts 11:30, 14:23, 15:2-6, 22-23, 16:4, 20:17, 21:18, 1 Timothy 5:17-20Titus 1:5James 5:141 Peter 5:1) – This term is in contrast to the Jewish elders (Acts 23:14), the elders around the throne in Heaven (Revelation 14:3), or elders as some religious groups call young single men.


4. Bishop (Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:1-2, Titus 1:7) – This term is in contrast to how it is used by the Catholic Church to describe Bishops and Archbishops, etc.


5. Overseers (Acts 20:28, NAS – Philippians 1:11 Peter 5:1-4)


6. Pastor (Ephesians 4:11-12) – This term is only used once in the New Testament and is speaking of the same office of elder or bishop.


Qualifications of Bishops, Elders, Pastors, Shepherds


1. They must desire the office (1 Timothy 3:1). Notice there is no mention of a special calling directly from the Lord.


2. Husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2Titus 1:6)


3. He is good overall (i.e., well respected, self-controlled, devout, not greedy, hospitable, sensible, etc.) (1 Timothy 3:2-7Titus 1:7-8)


4. He is a good teacher holding fast the word and able to refute false teaching in order to protect the flock (Acts 20:28-311 Timothy 3:2, 5:17-18, Titus 1:5-111 Peter 5:1-4)  


5. He is one who has believing, faithful, submissive, and reverent children (1 Timothy 3:4Titus 1:6). It is implied that he has more than one believing child (see Ephesians 6:1-3). 


6. He is one who rules his own household well (1 Timothy 3:4-5)


7. There are to be at least two pastors, elders, bishops in every church - We see that the emphasis in the first century was for each church to have “elders”. Paul and Barnabus appointed elders in every church (Acts 14:23). Titus was told to appoint elders in every city (Titus 1:5). Notice they were to appoint a plurality (i.e., at least two elders in every church). What we have many times today in modern churches is one shepherd or pastor or bishop to lead the flock. That is not what God commanded. He wanted at least two and we can see the wisdom in that if we think about it.


Test For Your Pastor


1. Is He Married?

2. Is He a He?

3. Is He older or is He a novice?

4. Does He have believing and faithful children? Children who are Christians?

5. Are there at least two pastors in your congregation?


If the answer is “NO” to any of these questions, your pastor does not meet the qualifications for the office. If he fails to meet these qualifications, then you may need to also examine all the practices of the church you assemble with. Examine these practices versus the New Testament scriptures. We must all follow God’s Word or we will not be acceptable to Him (Revelation 2:5). We hope you consider and think about the things we have discussed tonight. If they prove to be correct when compared to God’s Word, we strongly and lovingly encourage you to give up erroneous religion and become part of the Body of Christ. We hope to see you next time on, “Speaking The Truth In Love”.