The Spiritual Gift of Pastor
The spiritual gift of Pastor is the supernatural ability to direct, protect, and correct a local congregation or group of people towards spiritual maturity.
In the United States, we have confused our definition with the person who leads the Sunday morning services. The Greek word for Pastor is the word Poimen, which means overseer or Shepherd. Someone who is graced with the gift of Pastor/Shepherd may or may not be in full-time vocational ministry. The pastoral gifting is not limited to full-time pastors but can be expressed in a variety of different ways.
Example from the Scripture:
The two clearest examples of a Pastor are Timothy and Titus, who both were spiritual sons of Paul, the apostle. In his Pastoral epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus), Paul encourages these young men to lead their congregants well and to appoint other overseers, literally pastors, to do the same. In these letters, it becomes clear that the qualifications to be a pastor are not the number of people who follow you but the personal character and the spiritual care you provide for people.
When this gift is present:
The Pastoral gift is involved in the lives of people more than any other spiritual gift. Believers who are gifted in this are responsible for helping a group of believers mature spiritually through directing, protecting, and correcting them on their journey towards Christ-likeness.
When this gift is absent:
When the pastoral gifting is absent in a local church, the congregation will lack the guiding force towards spiritual maturity. In turn, believers will wander towards their interests and become susceptible to false doctrines and spiritual con artists.
In the Life of Jesus:
The Scriptures tell us that when Jesus looked upon the great crowds that were following him, he was moved with compassion because the people were as sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). In John 10:11, Jesus refers to himself as a shepherd, and later the apostle Peter refers to Jesus as the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).
Do you have the spiritual gift of Pastor/Shepherd?
- Are you energized by meeting with people and providing them with the biblical council?
- Do you excel at mentoring believers in their walk with God?
- Do people come to you for counsel and to help them mature spiritually?
Practical ways to implement and develop the spiritual gift of Pastor/Shepherd:
- Speak to your Pastor about opportunities to counsel people and disciple new believers.
- Spend time praying that God would strengthen this gifting.
I hope these definitions and descriptions of each spiritual gift were helpful. If you would like to learn more about spiritual gifts or discover what spiritual gifts you have, take our free spiritual gift test.
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