Is the Pastor Important? Is he Biblical?

Purpose: This post examines the concept of Pastor in Scripture. It defends that the Pastor is a biblical ministry, and that he is central.

I read this post “The Man of God” by Steve Van Nattan, and I greatly disagree with this person’s point of view. For example, he says…

Now, what about your pastor, and the deacons or elders in your local church? Just because a man can shell the corn and get some things right from the King James Bible does NOT mean he is a “man of God.”

So, is a pastor a MAN OF GOD?

Fundamentalists have an exalted view of pastors. The word “pastor” is only used once in the New Testament, and it is never formally defined. The offices of a bishop, elder, and the deacon’s office are well defined, but nowhere is the title “pastor” listed with the other offices. In fact, based on rules of interpretation, the pastor in the local church is not of any special consideration except as a shepherd to feed sheep. “Pastor” is the English equivalent of the Greek word for “shepherd.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Van Nattan, doesn’t understand the work of a pastor with animals even in the context of the Old and New Testament. Feeding sheep was not just throwing some hay on the ground for them in a barnyard, it was to wander through the countryside looking for peaceful, good places to let the sheep feed. This mean that he was in charge of the sheep, and this charge centered on his abilities and perceptions in discerning what is good and what is not good. It also focused on his character, because the difference between a true pastor and a hireling is that the hireling will not confront evil predators against the sheep. Basically the owner of the sheep says, “Here are my sheep take care of them the best you can.” With that, the shepherd makes all executive decisions for them. While Van Nattan apparently despises the concept of Pastor, God has a higher view of shepherds that Van Nattan.

Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

The very work of God, the care of God’s people, is entrusted to these “shepherds” so Van Nattan sets up a false concept, that a man of God is a great and good thing, and a shepherd is an underling, or a hireling.

See my tract Ch22 Pastorless Flocks

In this tract I treat exactly this, and why the concept of rejecting pastors is not only wrong, unbiblical, and unwise, but not God’s plan.