A pastor is someone who has spiritual care over a congregation. The English word occurs only once in the Bible in Eph. 4:11, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.” The word in Greek is poimen and literally means shepherd. Poimen occurs 18 times in the New Testament. For example,
- Matt. 9:36, “And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.”
- Mark 14:27, "And Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.’
- Luke 2:8, “And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night."
- John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
- Heb. 13:20, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord.”
Therefore, a pastor is a shepherd of God’s flock who is to instruct, teach, and protect the people under his charge. Pastors are elders (1 Tim. 5:17), and as such cannot be women as the Scriptures declare in Titus 1:5-7 and 1 Tim. 2:12-13.