Ephesians 4:11 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,
The Gift of Pastor Teacher is demonstrated in two primary ways:
- Those in leadership
- Those in supportive roles
1. Pastor Teacher as a Leader
It is by the Lord’s design that certain men are called and equipped to lead the church. These men are not more special than all the rest, but instead servants to the rest. As we noted yesterday, the most biblical description of their office and duty is –
Elder is the title
Bishop is the duty
Pastor Teacher is the spiritual gift that enables the Elder to fulfill his duty
Elders have been given the Spiritual Gift of Pastor Teacher in order to oversee the church. Yet not even 1 man per 100 people is able to adequately shepherd the flock all by himself. He needs those who will help him. Therefore the Spirit has given others besides him the Spiritual Gift of Pastor Teacher. Such people serve in a variety of ministries to help care for a variety of people.
2. Pastor Teacher in a Supportive Role
As we have already noted, pastors and teachers are not two Spiritual Gifts, but one. Why then is it listed in a two-fold way? Perhaps it is to help us understand their two-fold ministry.
First of all, there is the ministry of pastoring or shepherding. What do you think of whenever you think of a shepherd? The primary thought that comes to my mind is care. Shepherds care for their sheep. Those with the gift of pastor teacher care for those within their ministry. That may pertain to those in a leadership position such as an Elder, or it may also pertain to those in supportive roles such as a Sunday School teacher, a Bible study leader, or someone else who is responsible for a group of believers.
As a pastor, I have been given the responsibility of caring for the needs of those under my ministry. To enable me to do this, I have been given the gift of Shepherd Teacher. Yet I also recognize that I cannot do this by myself. For example, Paul told Timothy that the older women should teach the younger women about biblical womanhood. A godly woman with the Spiritual Gift of Shepherd Teacher can do a far better job caring for other women than I can. The same is true in many areas of our ministry. Within the body of believers, there are many who have been given the gift of Shepherd Teacher and the Spirit intends for them to use their gift to help care for the needs of the flock.
Secondly, note that it is the gift of Pastor Teacher. There is the ministry of shepherding and the ministry of teaching. Actually a good shepherd will desire to teach and a good teacher will desire to shepherd.
Paul teaches us that the Spirit has given this gift to the church in order to help build the church up spiritually.
Ephesians 4:13 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; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Because of our fallen nature, we have the tendency to think that someone in a position of leadership is somehow more important than the rest. Yet that is not true. Jesus said that the greatest in His kingdom would be those who are willing to serve. Paul makes it clear that Christ is the head of the church and that even the Apostles were chosen, not to exalt self, but to care for Christ’s body.