Not all pastors should hold the positions they do, many were not called into that position, and although I do not doubt their sincerity in their service to Christ, I question the place that they have set themselves in in His work here upon the earth. I believe many are called to be teachers, and even fewer than what one might think should be fulfilling their obligations further than that.
A teacher is most generally a person who has amassed greater amounts of information in a specific area than the average person, they have, for the most part, the ability to retain and recall information at will. The difficulty stands in the fact that most of this is either historical in nature or at best is the repetition of known facts, rarely are they able to go beyond these points, the reasoning, deductive skills are not present within them, although they are quite capable of coalescing facts, the challenge of facing new perspectives with no proven background information remains hidden from them. In other words, they are excellent Mynah birds or parrots, if you will, but lack the capability of working proficiently in the unknown.
I do not state these items lightly, but they are self-evident, rarely these days does the one who believes himself to be called by God to stand behind the pulpit head directly to the pulpit, or even the street corner with his Bible open and his heart bent to the salvation of souls by the power of Christ, instead they head off to a school designed, at least in name, to teach men precepts that are not always in accordance with His Word. Classes on grief counseling, mathematics, English, and other languages, music, all manner of observances that supposedly make-up a well-rounded man of God. No, most are not called by God for this position, but they are indeed well-rounded individuals in a religious nature.
Not only is there a vast misgiving of resources by this misunderstanding of the calling of these men, but their God-given talents are not being used to their fullest potential, when they could be teaching, instead they sit upon the finance committee, seek to address the music needs of the congregation, relegate their time mostly to the temporal instead of the eternal. To make these facts known to them when they are clearly evident to others is to draw much contention, for they see any step away from the pastorate as a step down, they have, perhaps even unknowing to themselves, set themselves in the highest seating area, when they were not meant to be so placed. (Luke 14:10)
I mean no offence, nor do I doubt their hearts intentions in their desire to serve the Lord God, I simply state that many have misheard the calling of the Lord in the place of service He would have them to be in. They are excellent teachers, but they are not pastors, much less preachers.
I make deference to these two titles in this same letter to you today for a reason, a pastor is not always a preacher. As a teacher’s responsibility is to infer knowledge worthy of attention, in our case here of course, in the Scripturally based knowledge of the Most High, a pastor is to not only lead the flock, but address their Spiritual needs. This man is what the misguided teacher attempts to be, and it can be most difficult to discern the two of them. The pastor is desirous to serve Christ, yet not only in the pulpit, he is interested in setting up mission trips, sitting on the building committee, attending every function of the church, being there constantly to serve in any manner necessary, whether it be temporal or eternal. He is a man of God, and in many small churches, for this is where you will most generally find them, these requirements are almost an obligation, for few in the congregation are usually willing to fill any of the unnecessarily empty seats.
The pastor reads and expounds on the Word of God, teaches the Bible studies, counsels the individual in need, even cleans the bathrooms, he is well-rounded to say the least, but he is not a preacher.
“Thus saith the Lord,” these are the words of a preacher, they are filled with love and firm conviction, they dare a man or woman in their congregation to be convicted by the truths of the Scripture, there is no deviation of these truths. His responsibility is to preach the Word of God boldly, whether it be behind a pulpit or on a street corner, he will not stray from this path. If it is in a church building, he gives little to no regard for the maintenance of it, he could not care less about the color of the carpet or paint, the parking lot, the finances, the books that will fill the library area, these are not on his list of requirements, his lot is to preach the risen Savior to all who will listen, to bring them to the knowledge of His saving grace through the power of His Spirit, to draw men to the knowledge of the Most High. He will do this if there is one or one hundred thousand before him, this man is called to preach, and under him, if the Lord so desires, there will be men who have been called to pastor the flock in their needs, others to teach them the precepts that God has laid on the heart of men who have come before them, and even those who are willing to clean the bathroom.
The difference between a teacher and a pastor is quite self-evident, between a pastor and a preacher though can be a little more difficult to discern, but I can guarantee you this, when you meet a man sent by God to preach His Word, you will know him, he is firm in his convictions, resolute in his integrity and character, and there is no shadow of turning in him. This man did not attend a college, a seminary, he has no formal training as we would call it today, he has the Word of God, he has the power of the Holy Spirit, if he has been led to study the words of men whom the Lord has used in the past, then he will apply only the wisdom of God that was imparted to them, and no more than that. No man can turn him from the path he has been set on, Satan will use every advantage he has at his disposal to destroy the reputation of him, if he can do more, he will.
I have not meant any offence to any who have been called by God to serve in any position, my intent only has been to ensure as much as I can, and in great humility, that each as we are called, we obey, no matter what place in the body of Christ He has set us in. Just be sure, as much as is in you, that you are meant to be in that place of service you now reside in. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” (Eph. 4:11)