The Pastor Is an Overseer

The Bible uses three main words for the pastor: Elder, Shepherd (Pastor) and Overseer. These all appear as synonyms, especially in Acts 20.  There  Paul said to the elders,Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28, CSB)

The word for overseer is also translated bishop, so if you look for a picture on the internet, you either get somebody in the Catholic hierarchy, or you get a picture of a pushy boss. I finally settled on a picture of a shepherd, because the Bible uses shepherd as a synonym.

The reason for the overseer is that the price paid for them is so high that our Lord wants none of them to be lost. The have been purchased at the price of the life, death, and blood of the Son of God, after all!

The flock is in danger of spiritual injury, from spiritual predators, and in danger of being lost to the flock. Therefore the overseer must be ready to treat injuries, to do battle with false prophets, and to chase after some who don’t want to be found.

And while our overseer isn’t a boss, there are times that our Good Shepherd, Jesus, wants us to do what he says! Hebrews tells us, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17, CSB) If you have a faithful pastor who is burdened with grief because of you, particularly because you will not take his counsel, that isn’t good for you.

A faithful pastor takes great care to speak only God’s word, and so is grief-stricken if we do not listen. So Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”” (Luke 10:16, CSB)

So listen to the one who cares for you—your shepherd-overseer.