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In ancient Bible times a Pastor was a doctor, family counsellor, spiritual Shepherd, school teacher, Priest, court judge, and evangelist.  What about today? Can we justify the financial support given to Pastors  who seem to do little for our assemblies? In modern times Paul and Peter supported themselves from their own industries (Peter went back to fishing sometimes, and Paul was a tent maker / repairer) so their spiritual work was part time, or financed by themselves.

EGW speaks against the weekly Pastor preaching in the Weekly Church...that is not his role...that's the elders job....the Pastor is supposed to bringing in the strangers, the street people and the new flock, a full time evangelist...sometimes I get the impression they are doing little for their money...

If we asked Pastors to volunteer their preaching work, and asked elders and others to evangelize,  paying only Pastors sometimes to run campaigns, we would free up so much more money to help the poor, seek the lost and finance local community projects...most Churches I see are dying for a lack of Mission in their own back yards....

We have specialized people these days, doctors, judges, counsellors, Elders, and what Biblically speaking is a Pastor for these days ? 

Sometimes I think we are better off without them, and use the money for the poor, the needy and for gospel work that is actually helping somebody with real needs....


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I find that in the last church I attended the Elders enjoyed the title, but that was it.  They enjoyed having authority, but that was it.  They told the overworked Pastor who had three churches he needed to do "more" while they needed to less.  Not, that they did a lot to begin with.

Rob, in connection with the thought that "EGW speaks against the weekly Pastor preaching in the Weekly Church", there is this interesting little comment:

"There are times when it is fitting for our ministers to give on the Sabbath, in our churches, short discourses, full of the life and love of Christ. But the church members are not to expect a sermon every Sabbath...

Our ministers are not to spend their time laboring for those who have already accepted the truth. With Christ's love burning in their hearts, they are to go forth to win sinners to the Saviour."  (7Testimonies p.19)

I remember reading a number of similar thoughts.

I do Stewart, thanks so much for the text, not wanting to knock our Pastors, but really where is a person slightly touched by Jesus these days...we have a fantastic laymen, and car loads of people follow him everywhere from one assembly to another...he is really touched by Jesus....when you think of Adventist Frontier Mission, they are doing a wonderful work, know of some personally...its a pity we neglect mission projects in each church...its more than about sitting in a pew getting knowledge, and worshipping in a social context....As Daniel said too, some of our elders are slack and forgotten Jesus too. In one church I used to go to, he would not preach for fear of causing a splitter, they have lost another dozen people all over a shed out the back mind you !!! My Mum I told her to stay out of their business, she is too old for the stress....fancy that...I would love to get involved in a splitter group, but I have no idea what's the problem in my Mum's church, except that the elder is too cowardly to preach anymore there, and he won't let me, unless I transfer to his church....well my touched friend goes to any church he likes, he is welcome and nice to listen to...

Some of us are all churched out these days...and some of us are wanting to get a spark going but we need more kindle to come and join us...I once became a missionary hoping things on the front line would be better for me getting into Jesus, well the people are easier to convert, but deep down they are two faced, and pretend...not much better than Australians really....and too many of them I found played around while being SDA so called faithful ones...its a real problem wherever you go...the Pastors were good overall, but I found at least three to be corrupt....they just received transfers from the Conference ...and went I wonder does the same thing happen in Australia too ? I like to be optimistic....and see the best in people....what I really want from this thread is for Pastors to fall in love with Jesus and start those church fires going, than Sunday Law will come, wake us out from sleep and we can get ready for Jesus our Saviour...that would be a great window to open...the actual time of the end... until than let's keep getting ready, and practicing our love in Jesus....


If I may, for example,

"The words were spoken to me with impelling power: Wake up the watchmen to carry the word of warning to every city in America. Build up the waste places. The righteous judgments of God, with their weight of final decision, are coming upon the land. Do not hover over the churches to repeat over and over again the same truths to the people, while the cities are left in ignorance and sin, unwarned and unlabored for. Soon the way will be hedged up and these cities will be closed to the gospel message. Wake up the church members that they may unite in doing a definite and self-denying work." (Man. Releas Vol 10, p.216)


Do a word search in EGW writings for "hover over churches".


The principle, as I see it, is that the Pastor is an evangelistic whilst the Elders run the church. Given the fact that in many areas pastors only remain with one church for a few yearsit would seem logical that the Elders are more fitted for the day-to-day running of the church than the pastor. When one looks at the Biblical qualities required for an Elder I don't see what a pastor brings to the church over and above those qualities. OR is it that you need a degree or (preferably) a doctorate to be able to effectively run a church?


On a side note: I don't understand why it is always the pastor that chairs the Church Board. In my experience they are not even members of that local church and are only there temporarily. Yet they are given the power to potentially leave generations of members in debt whilst they then move on to "better" things.

Thanks brother JohnB for cordial statements....I will study the EGW as you suggest...

When I was a missionary in PNG the conference lamented that they couldn't get teachers to the missionary fields, and asked me once for advice. I told them reduce their salary to the level of the Nationals, that's from say 50,000 pa to a mere 20,000 pa. Why He exclaimed nobody would come, maybe not for a few years I said, but eventually you would get truly dedicated ones, who love the Lord, and as we would still be here if you lowered the wage....

I think the same could apply for Pastors, its meant to be a calling, not an alternative means of enjoying a career financially. This might get more empowered ones in love with Jesus....for example my nephews are in an alternative career independent system of the SDA movement, and preach old fashioned love on less wages because they love the Lord, not sure why independent ministries exist, but they seem feel to justify their cause....I don't mind Pastors hovering over churches, what we need is true revival in us all, me included....its sad to post how to be saved, yet few read how, its as the Bible says, there is a drought for knowing the Lord Jesus, and experiencing His power in our lives....Pastors have that influence that holy calling, for it only take a spark to get a fire going....and soon all those around will be warmed up in its glowing...that's how it is with God's love, once your experienced it....


Hi rob,

It seems to me that becoming a pastor nowadays is looked at as a career rather than a vocation. This concerns me as I would like to see someone fulfill that role who is doing it because God has led them rather than as a career choice. I'm not necessarily saying that the two are mutually exclusive but I have seen a lot of emphasis on the career side. I am also really concerned there seems to have been a progression from "you have to be an ordained pastor to work for the church" to "you have to be an ordained pastor with a doctorate."

"Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred." (The Great Controversy p.606)

Try searching "unction + spirit" in EGW's writings.

I believe that we should follow the pattern of the Waldensians. Before anyone could take on the role of "pastor" ("Uncle" is the term they used) they had to spend two years working as missionaries.



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