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The Pastoral Office Is Not Found In Scripture

My goal is to write articles that go against the flow to pique discussion, offer a different perspective, and connect some dots.


The head Pastor is a fundamental figure within the church system who is met with praise, accolades and reliance upon to dispel God's word to the masses. He is most often on the top of the hierarchical ladder or status as the main focal figure to render out theological interpretations within the church institution. He or she is often trained and graduated as a professional from a seminary who has met the criteria or qualifications to maintain their position.

What would happen if the office of the head Pastor was removed from the church system altogether?

Could the church still function, or would it completely dissolve without a prominent figure to man the helm?

What may come as a surprise is that the pastoral function among the early ekklesia looks quite different to the the office of the head Pastor in the modern churches today. The facts of history and Scriptural context will serve as evidence that this is the truth. Before you read any further, it is important to leave your personal feelings at the door because many will have friends and family who fill the head Pastoral office somewhere. This is not meant as an attack on them as individuals, but a critical examination of their vocation using the Christian New Testament they claim to abide by.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers – Ephesians 4:11

The Distortion of 'Pastor'

From the only singular verse that appears in the New Testament, there are some important things to consider.

The word 'pastor' is used in plural form. This means that there is no Scriptural evidence that there was a singular senior head Pastoral practice among the early ekklesia. Pastor is the Latin word for shepherd and the Greek word for 'pastors' is rendered as 'poimenas,' which also means shepherds. This would mean that pastor is not a professional title, but a metaphor for one of the many functions of the ekklesia. A shepherd is a person who cares for and nurtures the people of God, but not within the context of a professional hierarchical vocational title.

Upon closer inspection of Ephesians 4:11, it appears that religious clergy have distorted the true definition, description and function of a pastor that has manifested into the office of the head Pastor in the institutionalized church system today.

The man-made idea of a prominent head Pastor comes from a desire of people to have someone revered to bring them to God who has been trained to be in charge of the affairs within a named denominational building called 'church.'

Now two men remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the second was Medad, and the spirit rested upon them. They were among those written, but they did not go out to the tent, but prophesied in the camp. The lad ran and told Moses, saying, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!" Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant from his youth, answered and said, Moses, my master, imprison them!"

Moses said to him, "Are you zealous for my sake? If only all the Lord's people were prophets, that the Lord would bestow His spirit upon them!" - Numbers 11:27-29

These verses here give an example of Moses opposing hierarchical or special positions that would suppress all of God’s people from using their gifting to only those deemed to be specially qualified.

Even the Christian New Testament opposes hierarchy.

I wrote to the assembly, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, doesn't accept what we say. Therefore, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words. Not content with this, neither does he himself receive the brothers, and those who would, he forbids and throws out of the assembly. – 3 John 1:9-10

But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. – Revelation 2:6


The words of the New Testament are opposed to Nicolaitans, which in Greek means 'conquering the people.' They are opposed to making distinct hierarchical classes of people among those who deem themselves to be prominent by lording themselves over others.

The definition of the Pastoral office in our western society is man-made tradition that is a distortion of a gifting that promotes hierarchical elitism.

The Evolution of 'Pastor'

The pastoral 'gift' can be traced to Ignatius of Antioch (AD 35-107) and the role of the Bishop. The Bishop was given complete authority and required absolute obedience within the institutional church system. In the third century, Cyprian of Carthage made more distinct classifications of Christians with the terms clergy and laity. He was a pagan orator who became a supposed believer who did not abandon his pagan traditions, but incorporated them. The position of Bishop eventually evolved to the head of the church and the delegated responsibilities went to the Presbyter. The Presbyter evolved into the Catholic priest as the hierarchical structure of the institutional church broadened. By the fourth century, deacons took a role under the presbyters, and under them were the laymen. By the time of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church practices were questioned and the Bishop’s office and the priesthood was reduced to the presbyter.

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What the Protestants did not do was question the status classifications between clergy and laity, but kept them with their own classification system. These were those who were deemed special and called to be ordained into the ministry. The fact is, there is really no distinction between the duties of the Catholic Priest and a Protestant Pastor except for slightly reformed office.

The controllers vs the controlled.

The controllers vs the controlled.

The Desire to be in Control

The institutional church system requires a ruling single Pastor (sola pastora). Likewise, the Bishop was raised to a status where all power and authority from him was absolute. Ignatius said, 'He that honours the bishop is honoured of God.'

Fallen man always has the urge for someone to mediate between them and God. We can see this in Exodus when the Israelites wanted Moses to be their mediator for everything. Today, we can see that the Pastor takes on a similar role and conducts everything from baptism, marriages and sermons and has a strong controlling influence over the activities within the institutional church.

The hierarchical system infiltrated the church system as a result of the influential Greco-Roman culture. The church had become an institution with official people doing ministry. Pagan organizational patterns have infiltrated and became the backbone of what is the manifestation of the modern church system today.

A true worshipper of God should understand that what a person does in everyday life is sanctified by God. There is no need for a higher calling into the ministry versus a worldly vocation. The dichotomy between what is sacred and what is worldly is a pagan conception. There are no grounds for ordained spiritual elitism because every believer should recognize those who have particular gifting that God has given them.

Today, the function of a supposed gift has been turned into a rite. Ordination into an office stems from pagan rites by empowering an individual through divine streams to become venerable, honourable and separated. It is the syncretism of Old Testament priesthood with Greek hierarchy.


The Church Model

According to John Calvin, 'The pastoral office is necessary to preserve the church on earth in a greater way than the sun, food, and drink are necessary to nourish and sustain the present life.'

It is clear today that most church institutions have taken on John Calvin’s model.

Both the Catholic and Protestant practices of church are built on the same human ideologies and traditions. The modern Pastoral office has become an obstacle to following the one true God.

The Greek word for minister is 'diakonos,' which means servant. It has become incorrectly synonymous with the office of Pastor who is in a professional salaried position.


What really stands out is the division of believers into separate classes where the special or more privileged can only serve in certain ways. The man-made system suffocates the church attender into becoming complacent to a one-man-ministry that preaches to his mute and passive audience.

Church has become a spectator sport where the masses feel coerced and obligated to sing, raise your hands, take notes and throw money into the offering plates for the livelihood of the Pastor.


Great Expectations

The professional modern Pastor has become slave to the office that oppressively manifests in many ways such as emotional breakdown, marital issues, stress, 'plastic fantastic,' burnout and depression just to name a few. This is not the result of the pastor, but the effect of their vocation within the church system.

The Tanach and the Christian New Testament does not support one sole individual to wear so many hats at one time. There is a high expectation and obligation of the Pastor entertain, tickle ears and make everyone feel good about themselves. This is artificial at best being dishonest and deceptive.

The modern head Pastor can be likened to a Hollywood star who wins an Oscar for the primary role as portraying someone who is always spiritual, cheerful, perfectly dressed and disciplined in all areas of life. The unapproachable and unquestioning attitude exposes the corrupt and political nature of the religious office that often leads to isolation from those who are deemed the laity. Often, those who are deemed to be the clergy have no real substance outside the group they are hired to oversee.

The evidence reveals that the office of the head Pastor by how it functions is a counterfeit position.

  • Church, a 'Non Profit' for Profit Business
    Many who attend religious buildings called church can accept the fact that their denominational entity is a 'non-profit' religious charity, but will scoff when it is called 'big business.'

© 2013 PlanksandNails

Comments Appreciated

The Logician from then to now on on May 13, 2020:

Man from Modesto

Don’t bother with this cultist. You can’t reason with the brainwashed.

Ask him what church he belongs to and you won’t get an answer because it is a cult.

Man from Modesto from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California) on May 13, 2020:

What about the parable of the good shepherd? That shepherd had 100 over whom he watched.

And, the concept of authority over regions and territories is definitely something in the Bible, not just of physical lands, but over regions, spiritually.

PlanksandNails (author) on August 09, 2016:

Marcus Faith,

Many fail to see, as they have rationalized in their minds that hierarchy is normal. They believe elitism and being respecters of persons is earned through formal training in a seminary. The men who come out expect to be taken care in a paid religious vocation. This is in direct contradiction of the example of Yahshua and the apostles. Whenever clergy are created, it necessitates personal favoritisms and respecter of persons among the people.

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of PERSONAL FAVORITISM. – James 2:1

We should put our confidence in what the Holy Spirit teaches, but what is only accepted, or the common consensus in the church system today is that the only one to be acknowledged is someone having a "special" formal title before their name, as they are the ones to have sole "authority" in spiritual matters. They are the "salaried-to-serve," which is an oxymoron.

In contrast, as attested in the NT the fellow brethren of Christ were not taught in the schools of men because their authority, ability, confidence and gifts came from the Holy Spirit.

Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. - Acts 4:13

The titles that are attached man’s name is a distraction from the pre-eminence of our King, Yahshua Messiah and makes men the respecters of persons.

We are all called to be servants, which excludes any self-exaltation. This is a Kingdom principle.

I agree, the destruction of pride through humility and the love for other brethren is important. It is the foundation of functioning among the ekklesia.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

God Bless.

PlanksandNails (author) on April 12, 2015:


As I said, I will assert that I disagree strongly and will refute the counterfeit positions of pastors within the harlot church system, which has been explained quite clearly in this article and within the comments section. You deemed disagreement and use your imaginary “evidence” to make allegations of hate, mockery, cult behaviors, etc... The fact is most of your comments have nothing to do with the article that I have written here. The ones you did quote were cherry-picked having no relevance to what I was trying to convey in the article. Either you do not comprehend the context of the article, or you did not read it at all.

((“Your entire Hub Page mocks Pastors throughout the world, devoted shepherds and dear saints of God”))

That may be your opinion, but I have made the DISTINCTION on what type of “pastors” I am referring to, which is expressed in detail in this article and within the comments section.

The passage you quoted from Hebrews is commonly twisted by the modern church leadership in churches where they believe that the laity is to be in subjection to the clergy hirelings. Unfortunately, there are many who are in ungodly devotion to the church leaders promoting a Nicolaitan system, which is forbidden by Jesus himself and echoed by the apostles. To quote Hebrews after what I have explained clearly in this article and the comments section reveals your ignorance. I stated that the words of Jesus Christ were in opposition to the Nicolaitans, which in Greek means “conquering the people,” and that he was opposed to making distinct hierarchical classes of people among the ekklesia where men lord themselves over others.

I make even more DISTINCTIONS with the precedence of Scripture in the following articles concerning the corruption of leaders within the modern church system.

Again, the web link you provided reveals that you probably have not even read the article, or the comments. I stated in the article that a shepherd is a person who cares for and nurtures the people of God, but NOT within the CONTEXT of a professional hierarchical title. The link you provided me about the role of the pastor reveals your IGNORANCE to the DISTINCTIONS clearly made in the article. The theme of this article is about the UNSCRIPTURAL role of a professional hierarchical hired position of the pastor title.

((“You obviously have never even tried to investigate why there are denominations or what they believe and to blanket over 30,000 denominations as practicing heresy, which is exactly what you do and is not a Christian approach.”))

Sure I have investigated them. If you read my OTHER articles you would obviously seen that I have. This article is NOT about denominations. All your assumptions in your comments here have not been be based on the theme of the article. Your sole purpose is to create red herrings and obviously to attack me personally. Even though you quote a statement I have made in the article, you use it for something that is completely irrelevant.

Since you want to bring up denominations now, here are some of my articles that go into detail about them. Church denominations are man-made and can all be traced back other men, NOT Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

((“This is pure crap; I've never heard of a head pastor…”))

Yeah well, all because you have not heard of a head pastor does not mean that no one has. I guess you can take your “crap” issue to those in the following link.

((“Maybe it happens in some denomination somewhere but you cannot paint all churches with that brush, unless you have an agenda.”))

Denominations are not supported in Scripture, and the church is a counterfeit word added to Scripture as I have given you articles with the evidence. Did you not read my two articles that make the distinction between church and ekklesia???

Every denomination points back to a man who is NOT Jesus Christ.

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ALL OF YOU AGREE, and that there be NO DIVISIONS among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the SAME JUDGMENT. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” IS CHRIST DIVIDED? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? – I Corinthians 1:10-13

((“But evidently your ecclesia consists of people who are not human, and always get along and to get along with you, they must all think just like you. Hmmm, sounds like that would be a very, very, small ecclesia, guess maybe one could call it a cult.”))

Again, I already gave you two links concerning the meaning of ekklesia. If you read them you would not continue to make ignorant statements. Did you think this article would answer all of your questions? Some answers require a whole article, or many.

Furthermore, here is another article concerning the ekklesia you can peruse.

Don’t waste your time trying to assassinate my character because of your personal obsession with me. You can call me whatever you want with your imaginary assumptions. I really only care about what the evidence of Scripture reveals to be the truth.

As I already quoted to you,

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, and for training in righteousness - 2 Timothy 3:16

So far you have ignored this scriptural instruction, but instead have used conjecture to base your opinions.

My advice to you is take a statement from any one of my articles within CONTEXT and apply Scripture to them to give evidence that correction is merited at the appropriate article. So far you have not done this once.

You cannot attack, or correct things that are figments of your imagination. Try using Scripture instead, but then again maybe all you do is parrot what your pastor tell you to without really knowing what it means.

PlanksandNails (author) on April 10, 2015:


Your last comment has been denied for the following reasons. Don't waste your time posting her again. Move on!

There are certain kinds that will continue to post irrelevance in order to divert attention from the original issue.This is the trait of a religious internet troll who keeps coming back. They are only interested in one thing and that is to convey their assumptions, presumptions, irreverence, conjecture, speculations, exaggerations, guess work, etc... Their goal is to assassinate someone's character with figments of their imagination. They don't care about addressing the topic being discussed because it exposes who they are and they do not like it. In order to create a diversion, they create their own diatribe as "evidence" and use it to attack the character of the individual instead of discussing what is relevant.

This type of behavior is normal within the corrupt Church system when the Church King-Pin or any one his minions feel threatened. In the end, the true characterization of person is revealed by what comes out of their mouth. When someone continues to make groundless accusations with insufficient supporting evidence, it should be obvious what type of person they are.

As I said before trolls have nothing to offer except post irrelevance to the topic. So no, I do not take them seriously.

PlanksandNails (author) on April 10, 2015:


You are welcome. Thanks for reading the commentary of the article too as this theme has been quite extensively been discussed. God Bless.

PlanksandNails (author) on April 09, 2015:


(" I cannot determine the validity or error of what you have put forth and how you portray this topic without understanding where you are coming from.")

As I told you in my previous comment,

"My beliefs are what was taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles as attested in Scripture." If that is not a good enough answer for you, too bad!

You can easily determine where someone comes from by what they write, and weigh and test it with the Word of God, but trolls have no desire to do that, but use conjecture, presumptions and speculations imagining up different scenarios and stories about the author in their minds to divert attention away from the presented theme. Any claim, or argument must be dismissed on irrelevant facts, or supposition because it is a fallacy. In this case, you comments fit this category.

Unless you use the evidence of the written text in this article to reveal false teaching by using Scripture for correction, no additional comments will be presented by you here.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, and for training in righteousness - 2 Timothy 3:16

PlanksandNails (author) on April 09, 2015:


An internet troll is an attempt to provoke people into an emotional response that disrupts the theme being presented.

You are assuming I am a cult member without any evidence or proof. I am not a cult member, nor am I on HubPages to reveal my personal life, especially to people I don't know. If you believe that I am a false teacher then provide evidence for your claims.

It is a typical tactic of those within the church system who cannot refute the truth resort to character assassination instead. Your tactics are not going to work for you here.

As I said, if you do not have anything to offer pertaining to the theme of the article to contribute, or refute, they will be removed. Presumptions and "ventures to guess" are not worthy of consideration. Use the evidence of the written text in this article with Scripture to correct what you believe to be false instead of the twisting Scripture based on your own guesswork about myself. Give yourself some credibility.

PlanksandNails (author) on April 08, 2015:

Carol J and greg,

Thank-you for reading the article and sharing your thoughts. God Bless.

greg on April 08, 2015:

Great job. This is

well researched.

Carol J on August 28, 2014:

Dear person who wrote this article and the ones listed below it. THANK YOU. I have grown increasingly frustrated with the traditions of man being touted as scripture when there isn't any scripture to back it up. The institutional church as it is today usurps the authority of the husbands and hands it to the pastor, and encourages the mothers away from the children to make more money for the tithe. Wolves in sheep's clothing slobbering at the promise of power. Speak out. You are right on.

Liberty on May 25, 2014:

Thanks again for this.

I'm not sure if you're going to be setting up a website soon with all this information but I really hope so. I have friends within the system who need to read this. I will be forwarding links as required.

Whoever you are, I thank God for your work.

He is so good. Please keep it up.

Nathan on April 01, 2014:


I appreciate your view points. I have been talking to my wife for weeks now about the problems with the modern church. According to the national census 85% of Americans classify themselves as "Christian" yet look at the situation we are in. This all comes down to the problems with the modern church. I was actually kicked out of a church 12 years ago for disagreeing with the pastor on a very minor topic. So, what I have been dealing with, and the question I have is... What do we do about it?

PlanksandNails (author) on February 24, 2014:


Thank-you for reading and the affirmation. God Bless.

Joe on February 24, 2014:

Great article and most excellent rebuke. Ignatius' (of Antioch) writings may or may not be genuine, but even if so, the portions referencing great authority to a bishop are easily recognized as not biblical, yet are almost the sole early writings "supporting" the spiritual hierarchy of modern institutional churches. Thank you!

PlanksandNails (author) on September 04, 2013:


I appreciate your understanding of this theme. History and Biblical precedence cannot be refuted when one takes a deeper look. Unfortunately, the traditions of man are so ingrained that many simply refuse to accept the truth. Accepting it would destroy the idolatry of the church building and the religious traditions that go on within the four walls.

Thank-you for the additional information you have provided. God Bless.

narrrowway on September 03, 2013:

I like to thank the author for expressing historical truths. The additional add ons were not part of the true ecclesia , words and terms got changed to support the wealth and power side of things...much was changed to put men over it.

The ecclesia did not use the Ot priesthood, man added that latter on,, it was every believer was now Spirit led and all came with something to bring. Barclay in his commentary on the Corinth letter said , they would not know what we are doing today, quote.1954-56?copy.. makes one wonder why?

The priesthood of all beleivers not just those that would soon elevate themselves for gain.The body or the temple are people not wood.. or state run operations.

The danger of those who brought in the pagn sophisrty practices, etc should have long since been dealt with, sadly it;s beocme an industry business driven, in some cases tradition is easy just to sit back pay and get a free ride? no sure that goes anywhere..., may be the real issues to be dealt with...??

And in many ways has all arrived at being powerless/divided compared to those of the true ecclesia.

The early history can be foud in some of the early writings on the topic in the early 1900s, Walker on the History of christianity opens the topic wide.,PGS Hopwood religious experience of ther primitive Church, has some deeply interesting leads as well as wealth of Facts on the Spirit led life.please get it has relaly fine ref articles.

Angus speaks the mysteries impact on the faith, which is important to understand the issues dealing with early Greek magicians and those using their practices the author here speaks of.. .Clement and Oregin were inside some of it, mixing, things in troubling times, as the revelatory was exchanegd for the gnosis, led to many assumptions. I spent a lot of time sifting out the fog from the truth for myself...

Irenaous makes comment in 300 Ad that they had the book and rule of faith etc but no longer did they possess the Spirit or the power there of"" a sad loss, Angerbert says they exhanged the revalatory for the gnosis, a foolish exchange? the loss is huge and the fruit of it all is all to obvious.

I have no regrets, in the end we answer to God, I felt it would be best to get about what will really matters, veres the doubtful manipualtion of man for his own glory and power... After all the final questions will be "did you do" what I ask you to do? that tells me it;s purly relational to him, and one to another aware and able to grow in such awareness..1Corinth2.

Wise discussion, praying for all for truth to prevail,, we;re in big trouble for sure, divided and often angry, boy Jesus sees all that,

"worship in truth and Spirit" not easy to face truth, but better now than to late.

Avoiding a huge loss described in 1 Corinth 3 be huge shame , may we grow in faith, love, and hope, all of us one to another so that we may all play a huge role in a deeply troubled world reflecting his love and truth, may elders serve as they were ask to in great joy, love to all. Be kind one to another.He sees! us all inside out... take care.

PlanksandNails (author) on February 12, 2013:


There would be no real reason to support a full time head pastor if the New Testament patterns were truly implemented. A functioning priesthood instead of a passive audience would do away this “need.” Leadership responsibilities should be shared, not a hired one-man-show who becomes the focal point of every meeting. Teaching should be shared among the flock and each member participating in some way to contribute to the body of Jesus Christ.

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. – 1 Thessalonians 2:9

PlanksandNails (author) on February 12, 2013:


You have made some valid points, and I hopefully I can address them.

(“Be cautious of how you speak of God's anointed, even if they are misusing their position or calling. Even David wouldn't touch Saul, God's anointed leader.”)

There is Biblical protocol in the New Testament that addresses those who are misusing their position and calling. Furthermore, I have not named any names, but I am attempting to clarify my position on principles applied by the Early Church. This is not a popular subject and there few out there who are willing to walk out the issues.

(“..your blanket statements are unjust to the men and women who truly lead and shepherd by the calling and leading of the Holy Spirit, men and women who have pure hearts, who are not using the pulpit for personal gain, but have a heart for the lost, have a heart to disciple believers, and rely on the Spirit's power to do the work of God.”)

This article does not apply to those people because they adhere to the principles outlined in Scripture. That is the distinction from the ones who compromise them. I would hope you would understand that my admonishments are to the latter.

In the New Testament Apostle Paul had a right to receive financial support, but established a pattern of not asking or demanding money from the churches that he served.

Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? – 1 Corinthians 9:6-7

He did not require wages for a variety of reasons:

Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. – 2 Corinthians 11:7-9

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. – 1 Thessalonians 2:9

…nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. – 1 Thessalonians 3:8

How many pastors do you know of who first consider the financial burden when taking up their position? It is simply assumed that a pastor must be salaried. Unfortunately, the world sees the pastor as only in it for the money, and for this reason it hinders the Gospel message because the stereotype has become a valid one. The mega church pastors of today live in lavish lifestyles bilking people of their hard earned money.

If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? – 1 Corinthians 9:12

For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 2:17

Paul always wanted to be in a position of always being able to give to others in need instead of always being on the receiving end.

I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:33-35

And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. – 2 Thessalonians 3:9

How often is this imitated in the modern pastoral office?

From the example of Paul and comparing it to the modern system in the church today this is almost non-existent. The Early Church leaders were normally not paid. Pail could have received money, but chose not to. He wanted to serve by not depending on any church for support. What is apparent in the modern church is that a pastor will be chosen who is not from AMONG the flock for his professional credentials. Before the advertisement is put, the consideration of being able to support the person is first considered. Most men will not even consider their “calling” until the financial package is adequate.

In Acts 20:35, Paul was an example by working hard and giving a model to follow. What would be the point of this model if pastors are to be fully salaried and completely living off the church they shepherd? Pastors, like anyone else, should work with their hands and provide for their own needs. Paul’s detachment from material gain is evident in the epistles and never used ministry as a mask to cover up it up.

When we are not dependent on other we put ourselves in a position to help the less fortunate and share in one another’s burdens. The major qualification for church leaders is a detachment from the love of money, but among the modern pastors of today, the salary is their first consideration. Paul applied it is better to give than to receive for a reason. The minister is to be a servant and a giver, not a taker. The ministry is not legitimate without these qualifications.

Is the kingdom of God and the Gospel about material rewards? Paul coveted nothing that was not his and did not avail himself to be maintained by SPIRITUAL WELFARE, but earned his living by his own labours. Paul worked night and day with his own hands that no one would accuse him of depending on the hearers of the Gospel for his material needs.

It seems that support was needed for the travelling evangelists and prophets, but not the settled local “clergy.”

Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. – Matthew 10:9-10

And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. – Luke 10:7

Your reference to 1 Timothy 5:17-18 may refer to money gifts, but it sure is not about fixed salaries, which are considered an abomination in the eyes of the Early Church. It is also less probable the Early Church could have supported a plurality of pastors, which were already appointed. The indication that elders who rule receive “double honour,” which many supposed to be a full-time salary is not that cut and dry. Is the genuine church really to believe that Paul wanted all the pastors and elders on some kind of payroll, or merely one man called the senior head pastor? The word honor means what it means, and that is what naturally goes with that office, not pay.

There are those who appeal also to Galatians 6:6 which says,

One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.

The problem is that pastors were not the only ones who taught in the local church. If that is the case, then all teachers should be required a salary. We must share in all good things, which must include a salary, medical insurance, and a retirement plan right?

I would say that “all good things” are periodic gifts, food, assistance that a teacher may need. 1 Timothy 5:17-18 is not an exegetical warrant for a salaried position from the words, or the surrounding context.

There is also 1 Corinthians 9:14,

In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

In the right context, this verse does not apply to pastors, elders, or any other leaders, but refers to apostles, or the equivalent of a missionary today. The nature of their work would agree with their obvious needs. There was no salary involved.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on February 11, 2013:

awesome- well explained and most graciously presented

The Logician from then to now on on February 10, 2013:

Well DTMBro! It appears, besides you, I guess Question All doesn't "grasp the context" of this hub either, to quote the author.

The last time I pointed out that a hubber was using only two scriptures out of the context of 16 other scriptures throughout the old and new testaments to make a point he first tried to demean me for not sharing the scriptures. Then when I told him that the link I had already posted with my comment (which he must not have even checked) was a listing of all the scriptures with their meaning he simply deleted my comments with no explanation - so I looked at the comments section of his hub (as it was an older hub with many comments) and realized, that he probably deleted any comment that disagreed with him because all that was left were akolades for him agreeing with them.

At least you were allowed to make your point clear (not withstanding his tortured resistance to the simple point you clearly made).

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on February 08, 2013:


William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on January 06, 2013:

I agree with you and just wondered what your take was on a portion of Scripture that seems to indicate church leadership. I believe someone needs to oversee the work just as you had mentioned. I also believe without a doubt that Jesus must be the Head and that the church should use their gifts to share in the work of the ministry. The Holy Spirit speaks through many not just one in different ways. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

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