4 February 2019


By John Ollis

The writer to Hebrews speaks of our SO GREAT SALVATIION Hebrews 2:3 AMP How shall we escape [appropriate retribution] if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to SUCH A GREAT SALVATION [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever]? For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself], and it was confirmed to us and proved to be real and genuine by those who personally heard [Him speak].

Our glorious Salvation was created in eternity past long before God made man, and had sinned. The Apostle Peter in 2:1;3 NLT adds By his divine power, God has given us EVERYTHING we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. Every day I thank God for the precious blood of Jesus, that washes us “whiter than the driven snow” and “will NEVER lose its ancient power”. Daily I thank God for the washing of the Word Ephesians 5:26 NKJV that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the (Rhema) word, and daily I thank God for the Refiner’s Fire the blessed Holy Spirit who continues to sanctify me.

Then over and above the Blood of Jesus, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV the Lord gave to the Church the fivefold Ministry Gifts. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;Lord gave to the Church the fivefold Ministry Gifts.

Each of these Ministry Gifts are a special teaching in themselves, sadly there has been much abuse and wrong understanding regarding some of the ministries, especially the Apostle & the Prophet. This series of blogs is highlighting the Ministry of the Pastor.

With all that God has made available to us, we do not have a single excuse not to live a victorious life and let God fulfil His purposes in us.

The Holy Spirit makes use of three different words in the Greek text to explain this ministry, and these three words are used interchangeably and we need to understand the various aspects of truth if we are to have a balanced understanding of the Ministry of a Pastor and therefore the Ministry of Pastoring.

The first word that is used for Pastor is BISHOP.

Paul writes in Philippians 1:1 NKJV Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi with the BISHOPS and deacons. The word for Bishop is Epikopos where we get the word in English Episcopal and expresses the role of OVERSEER. Luke in Acts 20:28 NKJV says, Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you OVERSEERS (Bishops), to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. So Pastoring is overseeing, guiding, ruling, directing the local church.

In virtually every reference to Bishops, and the other two terms which we will look at next, the word is ALWAYS IN THE PLURAL. New Testament Leadership is plural in that the Ministries work together as a team, there are so many safeguards in plurality.

The second word that is used for Pastor is ELDER, the Greek word is Presbuteros, where we get in English the word Presbyterian. which emphasises plurality of government, but much more this word speak of the Pastor’s CHARACTER , Paul has so much to say about Elders in his letters to Timothy & Titus. This is not primarily emphasising age and grey hair, but MATURITY in spiritual experience. You will note if you go to your Concordance again this word is constantly in the plural in the new Testament

The third word that is used for Pastor is SHEPHERD, the Greek word is Poimen and this spotlights so clearly so much of the Pastor’s ministry as a shepherd. Jesus uses the illustration well in John 21:15-17 NKJV which we will develop in a later blog. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

So a Pastor is an OVERSEER, this so expresses his responsibility as a Leader in the local church.

The Pastor is an ELDER, in that he is of Godly character and maturity.

The Pastor is a SHEPHERD, this expresses his constant work in the local church.

It is very much the Shepherding aspect of ministry we will look at in the next blog.

Remember Frank Damazio’s statement as we prepare to look at the Ministry of the Shepherd.