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Who's Preaching At Me?

Updated on February 16, 2013

Titles Examined

Bishop

1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 2:25

One who oversees the actions of others; in this case referring to the authority given in Scripture to the spiritual oversight of a local church by pastors.

While clearly defining a major duty of the pastor, I do not use this title of a pastor simply due to the confusion of the word in our day with some extra-biblical office of one overseeing other overseers.

Pastor

1 Peter 5:2

A shepherd, literally, or one who looks to the needs of his "sheep" or parishioners. Highlights his concern for their spiritual well-being.

Perhaps the best title when referring to the office as it reminds both the pastor and the parishioner of the duties implied in the office.

Elder

1 Timothy 5:19; Titus 1:6; 1 Peter 5:1; 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1

Simply denotes one who is advanced in knowledge and years: i.e. the man who has advanced in the graces and gifts to the point of being set apart for a spiritual office.

An excellent way to attribute authority and respect to a called servant of God.

Preacher

Romans 10:14; 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11; 2 Peter 2:5

Refers to one of the key duties of the office, and the one most notable to those outside the membership of the church.

While legitimate, it has become a term of derision in some circles, indicating but one of the many aspects of the pastorate. Not recommended in our day.

Reverend

One who is to be revered for his office.

I have never cared for this title, not because a minister deserves no honor, but because of the extreme elevation that it intimates (to revere being more honor than is perhaps legitimate).

About The Author

Harold Markham is the host of the ER Podcast. He studied to be a pastor and holds degrees in Bible, pulpit speech as well as a Masters in Biblical studies. Click here for more articles by Harold Markham.

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    • shofarcall profile image

      shofarcall 4 years ago

      Hello HD, Thank you for your hub.

      My feeling is that none of these offices are carried out in todays churches the way they were intended to be carried out, as prescribed in Scripture. There are always exceptions to the rule of course. And I loved your suggestion that Pastors should be called Shepherds as it reminds them as well as the flock/congregation what their purpose is supposed to be.

      Today Bishops lord it over others with their fancy garb and status, not being in touch with the believer in the street at all and pastors are often the headship of the church rather than Jesus Christ, blocking gifts of the Spirit from developing amongst their flock and Elders often are puffed up with their 'positions.'

      Much of this is man-made tradition.

      Perhaps the only one still being true to his calling IS the preacher. Taking out the gospel of Jesus Christ to all that are willing to listen. (not necessarily even in the church - as in building)

      Reverend - well, won't even comment on that!

      Forgive the rant or strong view. Have you checked out Plankandnails hub on the same subject? Very informative.

      Thank you for bringing the biblical texts to our notice concerning these posts. God Bless.

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