Is Evangelism Your Pastor’s Job? No…and Yes

The article below is another one I wrote for a doctoral seminar at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. As I have done previously with this kind of article, I have included parenthetical explanations where I thought it may help a more general audience. My hope in sharing this article is to relieve my brother pastors from the weight of expectation in a task that is not theirs to bear alone. Second, I hope this article will mobilize the church to share the gospel and to see evangelism as one of her primary responsibilities in every member.

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Introduction

The calling and work of pastors are essential for the health of the local church. However, that health diminishes when the pastoral office assumes roles intended for others. This paper will provide a brief overview of the recent history of pastoral theology and its related disciplines, provide a Biblical description of the pastoral office, and explain how evangelism intersects with the pastoral office in order to show that personal evangelism is a secondary responsibility in pastoral care but a primary responsibility for the church in all her members.

Brief Overview of the Recent History of Pastoral Theology

Pastoral ministry in the twenty-first century presents overwhelming demands on those called of God to shepherd His people. David Larsen cites studies showing the pastor-teacher performing 192 different tasks.[1] The result of such an overwhelming load is pastoral burnout, short-tenured pastorates, neglect of pastors towards their families, feelings of isolation between pastors and their flocks, and moral failures of those in pastoral ministry.[2]

Pastoral ministry was not always this deluded. A shift occurred in the foundation of pastoral theology which guides pastoral ministry. Throughout most of church history, pastoral theologians built their understanding of the pastoral office upon Scripture.[3] However, the Enlightenment encouraged an epistemological shift (epistemology is the study of knowledge and its foundations), even in pastoral theology. Eventually, empirical data took the place of special revelation in prominence among many pastoral theologians.[4] Pastoral theology was moved to a new foundation: modern psychology[5] in which goals of social functioning and self-realization replaced the goals of salvation and sanctification.[6] During the twentieth century, those more conservative authors left the foundations of ministry unaddressed and instead focused on practical advice drawn from personal experience.[7]

Near the end of the twentieth century, Thomas Oden wrote his Pastoral Theology directing the discipline back to foundations in Scripture and the Patristics.[8] However, Oden’s goal was to produce a pastoral theology that was both biblical and as ecumenical as possible.[9] His work, therefore, lacked strong differentiation between the offices in the New Testament and lumped them all together as “pastoral offices.”[10] Oden’s work has wielded strong influence and marked a shift in pastoral theology resulting in a corresponding shift in pastoral practice. Many pastoral theologians have been turning to the Scriptures for the foundation of their discipline[11] but have also lacked proper differentiation.

Despite this shift back to the Bible as foundation of pastoral theology, an understanding of the Biblical office of pastor remains somewhat vague and ill-defined in pastoral theologies and pastoral handbooks. When pastoral theologians and pastoral ministry practitioners’ give direction to pastors from the Bible, most assume that all ministry (or nearly all ministry with the exception of diaconal ministry among some traditions) belongs to the office of pastor. Very little differentiation is made between apostolic ministry, prophetic ministry, evangelistic ministry, pastoral ministry, and ministries of the body at large.

The Apostle Paul and his companions Timothy and Titus are very often viewed as the ideal examples of pastoral ministry even though there is little implied evidence and no explicit evidence that they served in the pastoral office in any local church.[12] Contrary to the overwhelming assumption, Merkle provides three reasons to make a distinction between the role of Timothy and Titus and that of pastors: Timothy and Titus’ positions were temporary in such a way to travel with Paul, authoritative in such a way to appoint elders, and unique in such a way that no other New Testament example can be found.[13] Indeed, if Timothy and Titus were pastors, this would be the only two examples of a monarchical episcopate (single-pastor model) until the writings of Ignatius in the mid-second century. While the return to a Biblical foundation in pastoral theology is superlative, a maturing and defining process in this discipline and its cognates is still wanting; a process which is necessary for pastoral ministry to be as focused and powerful as King Jesus designed it to be.

A Biblical Description of the Pastoral Office

          The pastoral office must find its nature and imperatives in Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). Scripture is sufficient, not only for directing one to salvation, but also for developing a right ecclesiology (doctrine of the church) and therefore a right pastoral theology.[14] Scripture’s direction for the pastoral office may be understood in two axioms. First and more explicit, Scripture guides the pastoral office through descriptions, qualifications, and commands directly connected to the three interchangeable terms of the pastoral office when used thereof: πρεσβυτέρους (elder or presbyter), ἐπισκόποις (bishop or overseer), and ποιμένας (pastor or shepherd).[15] Second, and more implicit, pastors must find the nature and content of their assignment in the example of Jesus Christ as He acts in the shepherding motif. Peter, while commanding elders to “shepherd the flock of God among you” then referred to Jesus as “the Chief Shepherd” (1 Peter 5:1-4). This directive to the elders connected with this designation of Jesus implies that elders must imitate Jesus’ shepherding activity. This axiom may be termed pastoral theology in a narrow usage.

These two axioms concerning Scripture and the pastoral office lead to an understanding of five pastoral responsibilities. The first pastoral responsibility is the ministry of the Word. As the church spread and the apostles died, some, but not all, aspects of the apostolic ministry transferred to pastors.[16] In Acts 6:1-7, the Apostles led the church to ordain deacons so they could be free to proclaim God’s Word publicly (Acts 6:4). Paul’s division of officers in Philippians 1:1 suggests that overseers assumed part of the ministry of the Word and deacons served alongside these local overseers in a similar way that they served alongside the apostles. Consistently, overseers must be gifted to teach (1 Tim 3:2) and defend against heresy (Tit 1:9).

The second pastoral responsibility is the ministry of prayer. The overseers also received this important ministry from the Apostles (Acts 6:4). James reveals that pastors devote special efforts and time to praying with people as representatives of the whole church (Ja 5:14).

The ministry of leadership is the third pastoral responsibility. The term ἐπισκόποις (overseer or bishop) carried the idea of leadership from the surrounding Greek culture.[17]  This leadership comes from the authority of the Holy Spirit’s appointment of them to their work (Acts 20:28).

The fourth pastoral responsibility is the ministry of shepherding. The shepherding motif is well established in the Old Testament. God the Father was seen as a shepherd (Psalm 23; Ezekiel 34). Jesus, joined in His Father’s work by shepherding the flock (John 10). Then, Jesus commissioned Peter using shepherding language (Jn 21:15-17). As the apostles spread out, they commissioned leaders of congregations to shepherd God’s flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Pt 1:1-5). This responsibility involves spiritual protection, provision, and care in applying God’s Word to the lives of members with the goal of sanctification and equipping (Eph 4:11-12).

The ministry of modeling the Christ-like life is the fifth responsibility of the pastor.  The term πρεσβυτέρους (elder or presbyter) when used of the New Testament office did not carry the idea of age but maturity.[18] Paul’s direction to Timothy and Titus about the qualifications for overseers in First Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 reveal this modeling ministry as all of the qualifications for elders are commanded for every Christian in other passages of the New Testament with the exception for the ability to teach. Peter likewise commands elders “to be examples to the flock” (1 Pt 5:3).

Intersections of Evangelism and the Pastoral Office

In seeking a more precise understanding of New Testament ministries, one will notice that Paul makes a four-fold differentiation in Word-based ministry roles in Ephesians 4:11 between apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers.[19] Each of these roles were given, not to do the work of ministry, but to equip others to do such work.[20] God’s goal is to make a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” for Himself (Ex 19:6) rather than to have a class of priests within His people.

Peter calls every Christian together[21] a “spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 2:5). Then, Peter shares the nature and content of these sacrifices, “so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pt 2:9).  Thomas Schreiner explains the development that Peter makes in this passage:

Now God’s kingdom of priests consists of the church of Jesus Christ. It too is to mediate God’s blessings to the nations, as it proclaims the gospel…The declaration of God’s praises includes both worship and evangelism, spreading the good news of God’s saving wonders to all peoples.[22]

All Christians are called to do the work of ministry. The Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) which Christ gave to His apostles, the foundation of the church (Eph 2:20), passed to all Christians, not to a special class of Christians. Ken Schurb convincingly shows that non-pastors spread the gospel in Antioch after fleeing the persecution in Jerusalem in Acts 11. Schurb writes,

the church was indeed planted among the Gentiles at Antioch through laymen who told the Good News about the Lord Jesus…The work of the men of Cyprus and Cyrene in Acts 11 simply provides an instance in which members of the royal priesthood of believers, faced with a situation where the Gospel was not known, proclaimed the excellencies of the One Who had called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.[23]

The example of the New Testament church reveals that sharing the gospel was the primary task of the entire church in every member.

Therefore, understanding that all Christians have a share in evangelism to some extent,[24] and since Paul distinguishes between the role of an evangelist and the role of a pastor, pastoral theologians must seek to understand this difference so pastors may function as God intended. The term εὐαγγελιστάς (evangelist) is only used three times in the New Testament: here in Ephesians 4:11 making this distinction in roles, once of Philip (Acts 21:8), and once of Timothy (2 Tim 4:5).

Thielman, considering the term and usage of εὐαγγελιστάς (evangelist) and its cognates in historical context, concludes,

“Evangelists,” then, are probably those whom God has especially equipped to travel from place to place with the good news of peace through Christ…Paul, then, probably thinks of “evangelists” as similar to apostles but without their authority because of their lack of direct connection to the historical Jesus.[25]

Merkle agrees with Thielman’s assessment and notes that Philip and Timothy, of whom the title is used, both traveled from place to place sharing the gospel.[26] Everett Ferguson explains that before the offices of Apostles and prophets ceased, the Apostles began setting aside “elders to oversee congregations… Likewise, Paul early began to gather around himself men like Timothy and Titus who were trained to continue the work of preaching the gospel…‘evangelist’ was a technical term for this class of workers…laboring to win new converts.”[27] Since the officers of Ephesians 4:11 are not to do the work of ministry alone but to equip others to do so, evangelists travel to share the gospel and encourage the church to do so as well.

If one realizes the differentiation between ministries in the New Testament and is careful not to impute Paul, Timothy, or Titus with the pastoral office, then the direct command “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:5) cannot be assumed in pastoral responsibility. Indeed, the pastoral motif directs shepherds to minister to those who belong to God’s flock, not those who are outside the flock, at least predominantly. The inquiry at hand then, concerns the relationship of the pastoral office and evangelism. This article does not argue that pastors should not evangelize, but rather that evangelism is a secondary function of the pastorate as it intersects with the five Biblical responsibilities of a shepherd expounded previously.

First, evangelism intersects with the pastoral office ecclesiologically (concerning the doctrine and function of the church). As pastors have the responsibility of leading local congregations and as the mission of the church is to “make disciples” (Mt 28:16-20) and be Jesus’ witnesses (Acts 1:8), pastors must lead their congregations in evangelistic efforts. This intersection is well-acknowledged among pastoral theologians and practitioners today.[28] Samuel Southard hints at this intersection when he states, “The first responsibility of pastors is not to evangelize but to produce an evangelizing congregation.”[29]

Owen Stultz also recognizes this intersection and provides ten roles for pastors to lead their churches in evangelism, one of which calls for particular mention: “The role of the pastor is to help persons develop as evangelists.”[30] As ecclesiological leaders, pastors not only lead the church as a whole in evangelism but also help those called to be evangelists (a contemporary manifestation likely being church planters and international missionaries) to develop their gifts.

Second, evangelism intersects with the pastoral office incarnationally (“in the flesh”). As pastors have the responsibility to set the example of the Christ-like life for their congregations, they will be an in-the-flesh inspiration to obedience in evangelism. As the Great Commission is the primary responsibility of the priesthood of all believers, every Christian is called to evangelism. The pastor shares the gospel first as a Christ-follower and second as a pastor. His life illustrates to others what it means to follow Jesus. Therefore, He shares the gospel personally, showing others how to follow Jesus in this way. This intersection is also well-acknowledged in pastoral theology and ministry today.[31] Southard remarks, “The personal witness of a pastor provides inspiration and example for others.”[32]

Third, evangelism intersects with the pastoral office metaphorically. As a pastor has the responsibility to shepherd the flock as Christ shepherds, he will be sensitive to those who may become part of the flock.  J Patrick Vaughn recognized this intersection of shepherding and evangelism. He explains, “Pastoral theological reflection upon the ministry of evangelism begins with the very nature of God as captured and expressed in metaphor.”[33]

The shepherding metaphor directs pastors to focus their primary efforts upon the flock. Jesus spent the majority of His ministry instructing and guiding those who believed in Him: His disciples. However, when Jesus, the Chief Shepherd saw sheep without a shepherd, He was moved with compassion for them (Matt 9:36). He focused on serving those who were already His own and “was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Yet He was ready and willing to shepherd all others who would trust Him (Matt 15:21-28). Biblical pastors will focus their efforts toward the sheep, but they will be ready and willing to shepherd those who will trust in the Chief Shepherd.

Fourth, evangelism intersects with the pastoral office theologically. As the pastor has the responsibility to shepherd God’s flock and considers the doctrine of election, he will seek sheep who are not yet spiritually regenerated. Jesus said, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd” (Jn 10:16). Prime and Begg allude to this passage and this intersection when they state, “Our responsibility is not solely for the flock already gathered in, but for those other sheep that are to be called…A true pastor’s concern is for the other sheep that have not yet heard the Great Shepherd’s call.”[34] However, this flows from the responsibility of shepherding and shepherding the flock gathered takes precedence lest the pastor neglect the revealed flock for the hypothetical sheep.

Fifth, evangelism intersects with the pastoral office didactically (regarding the responsibility to teach). As pastors are responsible for the ministry of the Word among their flocks and the content of the Word centers in the prophecies, fulfillments, incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and glorification of Jesus Christ as the gospel (Matt 5:17; Luke 24:44), then pastoral evangelism may be construed as preaching the gospel and its implications to the church. Abbott-Smith defines εὐαγγελιστάς (evangelist) as “a preacher of the gospel.”[35] In this non-technical sense, pastors serve as evangelists every time they preach or teach from God’s Word as the gospel is central to understanding and applying the Scripture to one’s life.

Kurt Richardson also shows the pastoral responsibility of the praying for the sick and anointing with oil from James five. He relates anointing with oil to repentance.[36] In this sense, when pastors pray for the sick, they should encourage repentance and trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of any sin. While this ministry is intended toward the church, it reveals that in every act, pastors teach the gospel and its implications.

Conclusion

          This article has sought to show how pastors may be rightly construed as evangelists in their pastoral care. A brief history of pastoral theology and ministry was given to show the current state of scholarship in pastoral evangelism. Then, a Biblical overview of primary pastoral responsibilities was given. Finally, an explanation of the intersections of pastoral responsibility and evangelism were explored.

A Biblical understanding of the pastor as evangelist reveals that evangelism is not a primary responsibility of the pastor but of the church; of the priesthood of all believers. Evangelism intersects with pastoral ministry in a secondary-logical way. The result of this shift from evangelism as a primary responsibility of the pastor to a secondary one will relieve pastors from a burden that is not theirs to shoulder alone. It will also encourage the church in all her members to take her rightful place in evangelistic effort. In short, this shift will lead to evangelism practiced as a corporate effort instead of a spectacular one.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abbott-Smith, G. A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1922.

Akin, Daniel L. and R. Scott Pace. Pastoral Theology: Theological Foundations for Who a Pastor Is and What He Does. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2017.

Allison, Gregg. Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012.

Armstrong, John H., ed. Reforming Pastoral Ministry: Challenges for Ministry in Postmodern   Times. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2001.

Armstrong, Richard Stoll. “Evangelism: Communicating the Good News of the Christian Gospel.” In The New Dictionary of Pastoral Studies. Edited by Wesley Carr, Donald Capps, Robin Gill, et al. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002.

Beckwith, Roger. Elders in Every City: The Origin and Role of Ordained Ministry. Carlisle, Cumbria: Paternoster Press, 2003.

Bisagno, John. Pastor’s Handbook. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2011.

Boisen, Anton T. Problems in Religion and Life: A Manual for Pastors. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1946.

Boisen, Anton T. “The Problem of Sin and Salvation in the Light of Psychopathology,” in The Journal of Religion 22, no. 2 (July 1942), 288-301.

Bryant, James W. and Mac Brunsen. The New Guidebook for Pastors. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2007.

Cedar, Paul, Kent Hughes, and Ben Patterson. Mastering the Pastoral Role. Portland: Multnomah, 1991.

Criswell, W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1980.

Collins, John N. “The Presbyter as Purveyor of the Word of God.” In Worship 83, no. 3: (May 2014), 255-271.

Dobbins, G.S. “Pastoral Evangelism.” In Review & Expositor 42, no. 1: (January 1945), 48-58.

Ferguson, Everett. “The Ministry of the Word in the First Two Centuries” In Restoration Quarterly 1, no. 1: (1957), 21-31.

Hawkins, O.S. The Pastor’s Primer. Nashville: GuideStone, 2006.

Hiltner, Seward.  Preface to Pastoral Theology.  New York: Abingdon Press, 1958.

Holifield, Brooks E. A History of Pastoral Care in America: From Salvation to Self-Realization. Nashville: Abington Press, 1983.

Larsen, David L.  Pastoral Ministry in the Local Congregation: Caring for the Flock.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991.

Lea, Thomas D. and Hayne P. Griffin, Jr. 1,2 Timothy Titus. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 1992.

Lightfoot, J.B. Philippians. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1994.

Merkle, Benjamin. 40 Questions about Elders and Deacons. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic and Professional, 2008.

Merkle, Benjamin. Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: Ephesians. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2016.

Merkle, Benjamin. Why Elders?: A Biblical and Practical Guide for Church Members. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic and Professional, 2009.

Merkle, Benjamin and Thomas Schreiner eds. Shepherding God’s Flock: Biblical Leadership in the New Testament and Beyond. Grand Rapids: Kregel Ministry, 2014.

Metzger, Bruce Manning. “New Testament View of the Church.” In Theology Today 19, no. 3 (October 1962): 369-380.

Montoya, Alex D. “Outreaching.” In Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005.

Oats, Wayne E. The Bible and Pastoral Care. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953.

Oden, Thomas C.  Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry.  New York: Harpersanfransisco, 1983.

Prime, Derek and Alistair Begg. On Being a Pastor:  Understanding Our Calling and Work. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2004.

Purves, Andrew.  Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation.  Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.

Richardson, Kurt, A. James. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997.

Schreiner, Thomas R. 1, 2 Peter, Jude. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2003.

Schurb, Ken. “Pastors and People in Evangelism: A Study in Acts.” In Missio Apostolica 8, no. 1: (May 2000), 32-39.

Silva, Moises. Philippians: Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.

Southard, Samuel. Pastoral Evangelism. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1962.

Spurgeon, Charles. Lectures to My Students: The 28 Lectures, Complete and Unabridged- A Spiritual Classic of Christian Wisdom, Prayer and Preaching in the Ministry. Pantianos Classics, 1875.

Stott, John R.W. The Message of Ephesians. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1979.

Stultz, Owen D. “The Role of the Pastor in Evangelism and Church Growth.” In Brethren Life and Thought 25, no. 2: (Spring 1980), 111-120.

Tidball, Derek. Ministry by the Book: New Testament Patterns for Pastoral Leadership. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008.

Thompson, James W. Pastoral Ministry according to Paul: A Biblical Vision. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006.

Vaughn, Patrick J. “Evangelism: A Pastoral Theological Perspective” in The Journal of Pastoral Care 49, no. 3: (Fall 1995), 265-272.

Ward, Ronald A. Commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1974.

Wilson, James M. Six Lectures on Pastoral Theology, With an Appendix on the Influence of Scientific Training on the Reception of Religious Truth. London: MacMillian and Co., Limited, 1903).  

Wilson, Jim. “The Pastor and Evangelism: Preaching the Gospel.” In Evangelism in the Twenty-First Century. Edited by Thom S. Rainer. Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1989.

END NOTES 

[1] David Larsen, Pastoral Ministry in the Local Congregation: Caring for the Flock (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991), 15.

[2] See Derek Tidball, Ministry by the Book: New Testament Patterns for Pastoral Leadership, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008), 239.

[3] As evidenced by Andrew Purves, Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), see especially p. 116.

[4] For a common example of this see James M. Wilson, Six Lectures on Pastoral Theology, With an Appendix on the Influence of Scientific Training on the Reception of Religious Truth (London: MacMillian and Co., Limited, 1903) where on p. 9, Wilson claims, “Theological beliefs…are not inferences from an infallible book; they arise ultimately out of the nature of things; they are rooted in human nature; they are verified by ever renewed and ever-enriched human experience; they arise out of the one eternal thing, the eternal mystery—life in God and man.”

[5] Three prominent pastoral theologians which based their works on modern psychology and greatly influenced not only pastoral theology but pastoral ministry in the twentieth-century were Anton Boisen, Seward Hiltner, and Wayne Oats.

[6] See Andrew Purves, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), xix-xx and Holifield, Brooks E. A History of Pastoral Care in America: From Salvation to Self-Realization, (Nashville: Abington Press, 1983).

[7] This emphasis can be seen as early as Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students: The 28 Lectures, Complete and Unabridged- A Spiritual Classic of Christian Wisdom, Prayer and Preaching in the Ministry (Pantianos Classics: 1875) and as late as W.A. Criswell’s Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1980).

[8] Thomas C. Oden, Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1983).

[9] Ibid., 61.

[10] Ibid, 49-51, 67.

[11] For instance, see Andrew Purves’ Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004); John Armstrong’s Reforming Pastoral Ministry: Challenges for Ministry in Postmodern Times. (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2001); Daniel Akin and Scott Pace’s Pastoral Theology: Theological Foundations for Who a Pastor Is and What He Does. (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2017); and James Thompson’s Pastoral Ministry according to Paul: A Biblical Vision. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006.

[12] This is true even among authors who admit that Timothy and Titus were really “envoys” of Paul rather than Pastors. For example, Derek Tidball presents the argument that Timothy and Titus were not bishops because the title was never used of them, the title was used of other local leaders and the designation for Paul’s companions would have confused the recipients. Timothy and Titus’ duties were temporary and their authority was “open-ended” yet, Tidball continues to use them as the model for pastoral ministry in Ministry by the Book: New Testament Patterns for Pastoral Leadership (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008), 150.

[13] Benjamin Merkle. 40 Questions about Elders and Deacons (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2008), 101-105.

[14] See Psalm 19:7-14, 2 Peter 1:3-4, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, as well as Gregg Allison’s excellent discussion on the sufficiency of Scripture for ecclesiology in Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 33-39.

[15] See Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-5; and cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9 for the interchangeability of these three terms for the same office.

[16]  Benjamin Merkle makes this speculation after noting that Luke speaks of the Apostles and Jerusalem elders working together in Acts 11:30 but as Acts progresses, the Apostles are mentioned less and the elders more in Shepherding God’s Flock: Biblical Leadership in the New Testament and Beyond (Grand Rapids: Kregel Ministry, 2014), 61

[17] See Daniel L. Akin and R. Scott Pace, Pastoral Theology: Theological Foundations for Who a Pastor Is and What He Does (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2017), 153 where they write, “The title ‘overseer’ indicates the function of oversight or supervision of the church. It implies a spiritual responsibility to ‘manage’ God’s church (cf. 1 Tim 3:4–5)…It is an office charged with ensuring the welfare of God’s people through the loving watch-care of their servant leaders.”

[18] Roger Beckwith, Elders in Every City: The Origin and Role of Ordained Ministry (Carlisle, Cumbria: Paternoster Press, 2003), 30.

[19] Paul changed his grammatical pattern when he speaks of the “teacher” in a way that connected it closely to the office of pastor. Specifically, he excluded his τοὺς μὲν/ δὲ pattern which was used of the other offices mentioned and used καὶ instead. Pastors and teachers here should be seen as one office as they are governed by the same article and connected grammatically with καὶ. See Benjamin Merkle’s Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: Ephesians (Nashville: B&H Academmic, 2016), 128. Furthermore, the role of teaching cannot be removed from the office of pastor.

[20] Frank Thielman offers a grammatical and literary defense of this understanding of this passage in Ephesians (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010), 277-278.

[21] See First Peter 1:1-5, where Peter, in his Trinitarian formula describing salvation, clearly addresses any who have been spiritually regenerated.

[22] Thomas R. Schreiner. 1, 2 Peter, Jude (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2003), 115-116.

[23] Ken Schurb, “Pastors and People in Evangelism: A Study in Acts.” Missio Apostolica 8, no. 1 (May 2000), 37.

[24] Richard Stoll Armstrong grounds evangelism in the Great Commission passages and explains, “Jesus lays upon his disciples the responsibility for making further disciples and communicating the good news to the world. Viewed as a stewardship obligation, therefore, evangelism is an obligation of the Church and every church member can do something to help the Church fulfill its evangelistic mission.” One will notice that his article does not refer to the office of the pastor in evangelism throughout in “Evangelism: Communicating the Good News of the Christian Gospel” in The New Dictionary of Pastoral Studies. Eds. Wesley Carr, Donald Capps, Robin Gill, et al (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 120-121.

[25] Frank Thielman. Ephesians. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010), 274-275.

[26] Benjamin Merkle. Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: Ephesians (Nashville: B&H Academmic, 2016), 128.

[27] Everett Ferguson. “The Ministry of the Word in the First Two Centuries” in Restoration Quarterly 1, no. 1 (1957), 22-23.

[28] See Derek Prime and Alistair Begg. On Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Calling and Work (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2004), 61; Alex D. Montoya. “Outreaching” in Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 255-257; and G.S. Dobbins “Pastoral Evangelism” in Review & Expositor 42, no. 1 (January 1945), 51-56.

[29] Samuel Southard. Pastoral Evangelism (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1962), 171.

[30] Owen D. Stultz. “The Role of the Pastor in Evangelism and Church Growth” in Brethren Life and Thought 25, no. 2 (Spring 1980), 117.

[31] See Jim Wilson’s “The Pastor and Evangelism: Preaching the Gospel” in Evangelism in the Twenty-First Century. Thom S. Rainer Ed. (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1989), 197 and Alex D. Montoya. “Outreaching” in Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 255-256.

[32] Samuel Southard. Pastoral Evangelism (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1962), 171.

[33] J. Patrick Vaughn. “Evangelism: A Pastoral Theological Perspective” in The Journal of Pastoral Care 49, no. 3 (Fall 1995), 266.

[34] Derek Prime and Alistair Begg. On Being a Pastor:  Understanding Our Calling and Work (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2004), 60-61.

[35] G. Abbott-Smith. A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1922), 184-185.

[36] Kurt A. Richardson. James (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 1997), 232-236.

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