Elders, bishops and pastors in the New Testament are simply different ways of explaining the same people.  The Greek work for bishop is episkopos, from which the Episcopalian Church gets its name.  The Greek word for pastor is poimēn.  The Greek word for elder is presbuteros.  The textual evidence indicates that all three terms refer to the same office.  The qualifications for a bishop listed in I Timothy 3:1-7, and those for an elder in Titus 1:6-9, are unmistakably parallel.  In fact, in Titus, Paul uses both terms to refer to the same man (Titus 1:5,7).

Thus, the members of the Pastor/Overseer Council should have the qualifications of and function in the biblical role of elder/bishop/pastor.  They are the overseers of the flock, are to recommend church policy (Acts 15:22), oversee (Acts 20:28); rule, teach, and preach (I Timothy 5:17); exhort and refute (Titus 1:9); and acts as shepherds, setting an example for all (I Peter 5:1-3).  Those responsibilities put elders at the core of the New Testament church.  This council is to act as a caring and loving shepherd over the flock, but never in Scripture are the council members to refer to “his flock,” or “their flock.”  It is the “flock of God” (I Peter 5:2), and this council functions as stewards – caretakers for the possession of God.  Members of this council should fulfill the qualifications listed in I Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-8.



Craig Lile

Larry Shields

John Gill

Bob Henry

Louis Simpson

Mike Cowart

Kevin Austin

John Franklin

Steve Wood