In Ephesians 4:11 Paul explains how God established various offices (prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) to build up and strengthen the church. All of those offices/duties listed are words disciples hear and use often, with the exception of pastor. Exactly what does the term "pastor" mean, and why do we not utilize it?
Pastor is the Latin word for shepherd. The only place in the Bible the Greek word poimen is rendered "pastor" is Ephesians 4:11, which is a concession to those groups who use the term for a leadership position. I believe it is far preferable to use English translations for the original Greek (New Testament) and Hebrew (Old Testament) words. Ephesians 4:11 would then read "shepherds and teachers." This is a reference to elders, those who are charged with overseeing the congregation. A shepherd ("pastor") is not an evangelist. We avoid the term because it is misleading, and because it does not appear in the (original, Greek) New Testament.
This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only.