Had a conversation with a guy who fancies himself a minister the other day. He introduced himself and immediately began to talk about everything that’s wrong with the church, especially the church in the US. And he’s traveled so he’s knows this all too well. So this is why he’s not a member of any local church. He just goes where God leads him. He allows the Holy Spirit to disciple him. You see, you don’t have to be a member of a local church because you are the church.
He proceeded to ask me if being a pastor was a gift or an office. I said that it was both. He disagreed and said that men, especially men in the US, have made it an office when it’s really a gift. He appealed to Ephesians 4:8-11. I agreed that pastors are gifts from Christ to the church, and then I noted that Paul said that if anyone desires the office of overseer he desires a good work (1 Tim. 3:1). And I explained how overseer and pastor are synonymous.
He countered by saying that he doesn’t take Paul’s word over Jesus’. I then had to alert him to the fact that he appealed to Paul in order to say that pastors were gifts. The same Paul who said that pastors were gifts in his letter to the Ephesians told Timothy that the office of the overseer was a good thing. So he was caught and tried to change the subject. I didn’t let him off so easy. I just told him that he’s free to believe whatever he’d like to believe but that he can’t have it both ways. Paul’s an authority on the subject or he’s not.