“Pastor Nancy”

A sign outside a church building reads: “Welcome Pastor Nancy.” In light of the teachings of Scripture, I have two major issues with this welcome – “Pastor” and “Nancy.”

A very common error by the religious world is to refer to their preacher as the “pastor.” However, this is not a Biblical description of the preacher. The one who teaches God’s Word both publicly and privately is referred to in the New Testament as: minister, evangelist, and preacher (I Tim. 4:6; 2 Tim. 4:5; Rom. 10:14).

The term “pastor” (Eph. 4:11), however, refers to the men who are appointed in the local church to “shepherd” the flock of God. And the “shepherds” are not the preachers, but the “elders” (Acts 20:17, 28; I Peter 5:1-3). Those appointed as “pastors” in the church must first meet certain qualifications (I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). One of which is that they must be a “man” to serve as a pastor (I Tim. 3:1; Titus 1:6). We also see in Scripture that there was always a plurality of “pastors” (shepherds) and never just one leading (Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:5; I Peter 5:1).

Secondly, many churches employ women preachers (like “Nancy”), and yet the Bible strictly forbids such. “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church” (I Corinthians 14:34-35). “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (I Timothy 2:12). Women have very important God-given roles in the home and in the church (Titus 2:3-5; Romans 16:1-5), but one of them is not preaching publicly.

“Pastor Nancy” is the error of men and not the truth of God. We must be content to only “speak as the oracles of God” (I Peter 4:11) and to not “think beyond what is written” (I Cor. 4:6). Whatever we do in word or deed must be by Christ’s authority (Col. 3:17)!