Monday, May 21, 2007

Why I like the Title Pastor


Because I don't like self appointed Apostles.

Because Prophets think they're all that.

Because Teachers always know it all.

Because Evangelists can't take a breath to listen.

Okay, those really are not the reasons. Those are just stereotypes I have come up with.

The real reason is that Pastor is the only title among the the list in Ephesians 4:11 which carries an automatic connotation of relationship. It is a title which reminds us to be friends, and caregivers. Of course, we've seem to forgotten that the title is a caring title, but I still like it because it reminds us (if we remember its meaning) that we need to return to friendship in the church.

So, if you have a problem with the fact that every position in a church is a "Pastor" remember that it should be a reminder to get back to the basics of caring for one another.

12 comments:

Lisa said...

I had to chuckle when I spotted your illustration of the hand. I once had a pastor preach a sermon on the passages illustrated by the hand, and use his own hand to demonstrate his points. When he reached the evangelist, we all broke out laughing. It took our conservative former mennonite of a pastor a few moments to catch on to why his audience had suddenly become unruly. whilst discussing the role of an evangelist with great fervor, and demonstrating with his hand, he was in effect, "flipping the bird" at all of us...

Pastor Phil said...

Lisa,

Nice story. I think I'll pass on preaching that message.

IZenBet said...

hmmm. i just liked the title "Pastor Phil" because it roles off the toungue. and there's a certain amount of respect (in my view) associated with the relationships a listening (sometimes storytelling) leader of a group of folks, pastor sums that up. glad you see the title in a good light:-)

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Elizabeth,

Thanks. I like teh title as a reminder of the relational aspect, and I think that it ought to be drilled into every minister's brain.

Sally said...

great post Phil- though I don't use a title I am afraid I'm one of those noisy evangelists.....

Adam Gonnerman said...

My ordination certificate says "evangelist," reflecting what I believed then and still believe regarding Pauline church structure. It's one of a few points of faith that survived the fundamentalist shake-out from my soul. I see this term not in the revivalist sense, but in a very missional sense that I think is closer to the original meaning. I'll blog on this soon.

Pastor Phil said...

Adam,

I've got no problem with that. In fact I like it. I just like to bring people back to the fundamentals of relationship first. So, if we are going to get stuck on one title for Christian leaders (as we have been for some time) I think that we've got the best.

Perhaps I actually like the Brethren way best. We are all just Brethren, and there are some who are chief among the brethren.

Pastor Phil said...

Sally,

It is a little tough to use the evangelist title in postmodern, or NRM contexts - isn't it? But it easily in your heart, because you are a "Good Wordist" to the core.

Adam Gonnerman said...

BTW, in American circles I would lean towards "equipping minister" as a fresh translation of "evangelist." Again, ignoring the Revivalist sense and trying to go back to the Pauline meaning and description.

Pastor Phil said...

Adam,

I agree, and identify with that title.

paul said...

personally i think if we cracked on with what Paul is talking about in eph rather than gettin hung up on the labels we'd realise they were all relational - Paul is talking about people equipping the church, helping christians live their lives as a blessing to those around them - so in that sense they are all pastoral...

Pastor Phil said...

Paul,

Yes I agree 100%. I like that term Pastor because it naturally leads us back there.