World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Pastors

Article Id: WHEBN0001288511
Reproduction Date:

Title: Pastors  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Prophecy, Universal priesthood (doctrine), Nagercoil, Mary Alfred Moes, New Life Christian Fellowship
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Pastors

For persons named Pastor, see Pastor (surname). For the bird genus, see Rosy Starling.

A pastor is usually an ordained leader of a Christian congregation. When used as an ecclesiastical styling or title, the term may be abbreviated to "Pr" or often "Ps". A pastor also gives advice and counsel to people from the community or congregation.

History

The word itself is derived from the Latin word pastor which means "shepherd". The term "pastor" is also related to the role of elder within the New Testament, but is not synonymous with the biblical understanding of minister. In many Protestant churches ministers called pastors.

Present-day usage of the word is rooted in the Bible. The Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) uses the Hebrew word רעה (roʿeh). It is mentioned 173 times and describes the feeding of sheep, as in Genesis 29:7, or the spiritual feeding of human beings, as in Jeremiah 3:15, "Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding" (NASB).

In the New Testament, the Greek noun ποιμήν (poimēn) and verb ποιμαίνω (poimaino) are usually translated shepherd or to shepherd. The two words are used a total of 29 times in the New Testament, most frequently referring to Jesus. For example, Jesus called himself the "Good Shepherd" in John 10:11. The same words are used in familiar Christmas story (Luke 2) referring to literal shepherds.

In five New Testament passages though, the words are referring to church workers.

  • John 21:16 - Jesus told Peter: "Shepherd My sheep" (NASB)
  • Acts 20:17 - the Apostle Paul summons the elders or presbyters of the church in Ephesus to give a last discourse to them; in the process, in Acts 20:28, he tells them that the Holy Spirit has made them bishops, and that their job is to shepherd the flock of God among them.
  • 1 Corinthians 9:7 - Paul says, of himself and the apostles: "who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?" (NASB)
  • Ephesians 4:11 - Paul wrote "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers" (NASB)
  • 1 Peter 5:1-2 - Peter tells the elders among his readers that they are to, "shepherd the flock of God among you" (NASB)

Historical usage

Around 400 AD, Saint Augustine, a prominent Roman bishop, described a pastor's job:
Disturbers are to be rebuked, the low-spirited to be encouraged, the infirm to be supported, objectors confuted, the treacherous guarded against, the unskilled taught, the lazy aroused, the contentious restrained, the haughty repressed, litigants pacified, the poor relieved, the oppressed liberated, the good approved, the evil borne with, and all are to be loved.[1]

Current usage

Catholicism

In United States Catholic usage, the term pastor is used for what in other English-speaking countries is called a parish priest. The Latin term used in the Code of Canon Law is parochus.

"The parish priest is the proper clergyman in charge of the congregation of the parish entrusted to him. He exercises the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the diocesan bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling with the cooperation of other priests or deacons and with the assistance of lay members of Christ's faithful, in accordance with the law."[2]

Protestantism


Many Protestants use the term pastor as a title (e.g., Pastor Smith) or as a job title (like Senior Pastor or Worship Pastor). Some Protestants contend that utilizing the appellation of pastor to refer to an ordained minister contradicts the Protestant doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. United Methodist, for example, ordain to the office of deacon and elder; each of whom can use the title of pastor depending upon their job description. The use of the term "pastor" can also be regional in some denominations, including some parts of the Methodist, Presbyterian, Seventh-day Adventist, American Churches of Christ, and Baptist traditions.

The use of the term pastor to refer to the common Protestant title of modern times dates to the days of John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli. Both men, and other Reformers, seem to have revived the term to replace the Catholic priest in the minds of their followers. The pastor was considered to have a role separate from the board of presbyters. Some Protestant groups today view the pastor, bishop, and elder as synonymous terms or offices; many who do are descended from the Restoration Movement in America during the 19th century, such as the Disciples of Christ and the Churches of Christ.

The term pastor is sometimes used for missionaries in developed countries to avoid offending those people in industrialized countries who may think that missionaries go only to less developed countries. In some Lutheran churches, ordained clergy are called priests, while in others the term pastor is preferred. Ordained clergy are called priests in the Episcopal Church, as in all other branches of the Anglican Communion.

Baptist faith

In most Baptist churches, the term for clergy is pastor based on the literal application of Ephesians 4.11-13: 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 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. The Greek word here for pastor is poimen - shepherd - which bears the meaning of one who leads the congregation. poimen, "a shepherd, one who tends herds or flocks" (not merely one who feeds them), is used metaphorically of Christian "pastors," Eph 4:11. "Pastors" guide as well as feed the flock, cf. Acts 20:28, which with v. 17, indicates that this was the service committed to elders (overseers or bishops); so also in 1 Peter 5:1,2, "tend the flock... exercising the oversight," RV; this involves tender care and vigilant superintendence.” (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

Leaving the ordained ministry

Observers, such as clergy counselor Rowland Croucher, suggest that the numbers of "ex-pastors" roughly equals that of serving clergy throughout the Western world.[3] This would mean people who have left the ministry number in the six-figures. More pastors and priests may be leaving parish ministry than are lost to most other professions.[4] Until the early 1990s, there were few cross-denominational ministries serving this group. Croucher collected data-based questionnaires of ministers of Protestant denominations.[5][6][7]

The first writers to explore this research area used questionnaire surveys to look at factors such as age, education and family relationships as contributing factors to decisions to leave the ministry.[8] Other writers have explored ex-pastors within particular denominations[9][10][11] and/or focused on particular related issues such as burnout,[12][13] stress,[14][15] marital stress,[16] sexual abuse,[17] celibacy,[18] loneliness,[19] organisational factors,[20][21] and conflict.[22] One common cause of conflict occurs when differing approaches to ministry compete in the minds of clergy, congregation and community, as Norman Blaikie found in Australian clergy from six Protestant denominations.[23]

For some of the estimated 10,000 ex-pastors from Australian Protestant churches, their transition was a normal mid-career move, voluntarily entered into like many of the role exits described in the classic study by sociologist (and ex-nun) Helen Ebaugh.[24] Yet for many the transition out of parish ministry was premature. Clergy, churches and training bodies need a solid basis for understanding and action in order to reduce the attrition rate and enhance clergy, congregational and community health. Some denominations experience particularly high rates of attrition.[25]

Key recommendations to help alleviate stress in clergy exit situations may revolve around the development of professional supervision and continuing education. Professional supervision for ministry is a method of reflecting critically on ministry as a way of growing in self-awareness, cultural and social awareness, ministry competence and theological reflection skills.[26][27] Supervision that includes an element of peer group work has the potential to facilitate collaborative learning, enhanced group dynamic skills and ongoing supportive networks.[28] Some denominations are encouraging their clergy to engage in professional supervision, as part of their mandatory requirement of professional standards, but the requirements and standards of clergy supervision are often haphazard or absent.

See also

Christianity portal

Notes

References

External links

  • NewAdvent.org, The Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on the term pastor.
  • Pentecostal view on the term pastor.
  • ChristianityToday.com, Pastoral Administration. Articles about a pastor's role as administrator of a church.
  • LifeWay.com, Articles to help the pastor in the roles of preacher, missionary, leader, shepherd, and person.
  • PaganChristianity.net, George Barna explores the roots of the modern pastorate and some of its effects.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.