Monday, November 11, 2013

"the 'one pastor one church' pattern was simply unknown"-John Stott

"Although no fixed ministerial order is laid down in the New Testament, some form of pastoral oversight (episkope), doubtless adapted to local needs, is regarded as indispensable to the welfare of the church. We notice that is was both local and plural -- local in that the elders were chosen from within the congregation, not imposed from without, and plural in that the 

familiar modern pattern of 'one pastor one church' 
simply unknown.

 Instead, there was a pastoral team, which is likely to have included (depending on the size of the church) full-time and part- time ministers, paid and voluntary workers, presbyters, deacons and deaconesses. Their qualifications Paul laid down in writing later (1 Tim. 3; Tit. 1). These were mostly matters of moral integrity, but loyalty to the apostles' teaching and a gift for teaching it were also essential (Tit. 1:9; 1 Tim. 3:2). Thus the shepherds would tend Christ's sheep by feeding them, in other words care for them by teaching them."
emphasis mine

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