Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Requirements of the Pastoral Office

Grace and peace be with you all in our Lord Jesus Christ,

In this post I will be going over the requirements of the pastoral office as listed in the Bible, I may or may not get through all of them, so if I miss one please post it in a comment with the Bible reference so I can look into it and everyone may grow in knowledge and understanding of God's word. Do to the fact that I am preparing for training to be a pastor I felt it would be good to go through this. Most of what I will be going over will be from 1st &2nd Timothy and Titus, the "Pastoral" epistles. The Apostle Paul didn't receive a get-out-of-jail-free card when it came to the word (Acts 17:10-12), therefore myself, or anyone else for that matter, shouldn't receive one either, so feel free to compare what I type here to what is put forward in the word of God.

First, and most important, a pastor must believe that the Bible is the one and only inspired word of God (2 Tim. 15-17), sharper than any double edged sword (Heb. 4:12&13), and adequate for teaching, correction, and training (Col. 3:15-17). He must be ready in season and out of season to preach the word (2 Tim. 4:1&2).

An aspiring pastor must be sober-minded, self-controlled, and hospitable. He must be the husband of one wife, his children must be obedient, and he must be able to manage his household well. Finally, he must be well thought of outside the Christian community. (1 Tim. 3:1-7).

A pastor must be able to rightly divide the word of God, that is, proper distinction between Law and gospel (1 Tim. 1:8-11). Usually how a good pastor will interpret this is to preach the law and then the gospel, the Law being used to shock people with the realization of their sins, shining light into the darkness (Eph. 5:11-13), and then follow up with the gospel, allowing non-believers (yes you, my unsaved friend) to hear that they can be saved from the wrath of our wholly righteous and perfectly just God (Gen. 18:25, Ezra 9:14&15, Job 8:3, Psa. 9:7&8, and many more), and assuring born again believers of their salvation (I don't know about you, but I find it a great relief when I hear the words "Christ died for you, brother, your sins have been forgiven.") (Gal. 2:15-21, 1 Cor. 6:9-11. Heb. 10:11-14, and so many more than I have room for). All too often I hear pastors (and Sunday school teachers), teaching and preaching Law, gospel, law, "To be saved, you have to do this that and the other thing, but don't worry, Christ did it for you! But guess what, now, in order to be fully justified, you need to do all these things! And just to make sure you're doing it, let's go check your tithing record, because your money is most important..." Ok, they don't say that exactly, but if you broke down some of the sermons I've listened to from various pastors, that is pretty much what you end up with. Friend, if you are in a church that preaches law-gospel-law, remember this. Christ died for your sins, they were totally, completely, unequivocally paid for on that Cross when he died, there is nothing you, or me, or anyone else on this Earth, can do to be worthy of his death or even add to it. We are not Roman Catholic, we are not Mormon, we are not Muslim, we are Christian. We have a God who died for all of our sins. Yes, we should bear fruit in keeping with repentance and that forgiveness of sins, but there is a big difference between not being able to stop ourselves from doing works because of the Spirit of God within us, and doing works because we feel that perhaps Christ's death wasn't enough (or because we must hold the Five Pillars to reach paradise). God is totally just, but he is also merciful, and he provided a way out (read any and every gospel [Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John]). Jesus Christ is the one and only son of God.

A pastor must be willing to feed and care for God's sheep (John 21:15-19). Many people may interpret this many different ways, but I believe this to mean that as a pastor, one must be willing to see to the needs of his portion of Christ's flock, not looking after only himself and his family, but all of the children of light in the congregation. Whether this means that a pastor should appoint deacons to care for the flock (Acts 6:1-7), or if they see to it themselves (a monumental task), I feel is up to the pastor, the size of the congregation, and the relative needs of those in the congregation. Either way is still Biblical.

Finally, a pastor must preach sound doctrine. If the congregation or the elders want the pastor to a sermon series on the moral underlines of Star Wars, it is up to him to tell them it is his duty to preach the Word and the Word only. Paul himself states in 1 Corinthians 9:16, "Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" Therefore, if Paul, who was an expert in the Bible, and received training from Christ, and was shown a vision of heaven, didn't preach random things but preached the word only, then what right have I, who learned only from translations of Paul's writings, to preach other than the word?

It has been great doing this post, and if I missed anything, I am sorry, but I wrote this over the course of several days, and some things are bound to be skipped. I hope you found this post insightful, thought provoking, and will post your thoughts in the comments. Thank you for reading, and congratulations on reaching the end!

Until next I write, farewell.

Your Brother in Christ,



  1. This was very well written, and easy to understand, I enjoyed the scripture references. I am often trying to express the points you made about grace vs. works to my Mormon and Catholic acquaintances. My son Joseph attends your class, I write a Christian "Mom" Blog and have enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing this! ~April

  2. @ April, Thank you! I don't get into many discussions with my Mormon friends, but I enjoy writing, so this has been a good way to get some of my thoughts down. It has been good to see Joseph back in the classes again, as you probably know I'm visiting my family in warmer climates, so I will see him when classes start in January! Have a merry Christmas!

    Your Brother in Christ,


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