Pastor vs. Reverend. Two titles we hear in churches today are pastor and reverend, and we sometimes wonder what the difference is. We have seen that a pastor is mentioned in the Bible, but the reverend is not. What we see in the Bible is God being given reverence by His people.
“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him” (Psalm 89:7).
The pastor is listed in Ephesians 4:11 that says,
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.”
Who is a Pastor?Pastor vs. Reverend
A pastor is one who is commonly known as a shepherd of God’s flock because he is charged with feeding them the Word of God. He has been given the pastoral gift, and serves under Jesus Christ, who is the good shepherd (John 10:11 – 13). You will find that pastors are the ones who preach to the congregation every Sunday, and take care of their spiritual needs. Whenever anyone in church has an issue of any kind, they always go to the pastor, whom they believe has all the answers from the Word of God.
1“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
The pastor goes to Bible school so that he can learn how to deliver the Word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15 says that we should present ourselves to God as workers who are not ashamed, and who correctly handle the word of truth. The pastor always aims to give a correct interpretation of the Word of God so that believers can understand the gospel and live by it each day. Pastors are to show their congregations how to live by the Word of God; they lead the way and the rest follow.
5 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth
Pastors provide spiritual guidance and counseling to their church members because it is their role to care for them. They oversee how activities are handled in the church and ensure that they are geared toward the faithful. They are involved in deciding which church events will take place and delegate the details to the ministry leaders.
Pastors today not only care about their church members but also look to grow their congregations. An increase in numbers means that more people are getting saved and desiring to grow in their newfound faith. Pastors steer their churches in the right direction under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is the only way they can make the right decisions that will be beneficial to the church.
Biblical Uses of the Term Pastor (Shepherd / Lead a Flock)
Pastor has become a common term to be given or describe a Minister, Evangelist of a Church. It is a Shepherding term in the Hebrew used to describe a shepherd, Leading, Feeding, Protecting a Flock of Sheep.
In Churches it carries the same meaning except it carries the same meaning of a person that is caring for a group, church, family of God. It is used in New Testament here.
- Ephesians 4:11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
Many Religions Used the term to describe their Servants
- Protestant Faiths
- Community Churches
Who is a Reverend?
When you look around in churches, you will find that reverends are pastors who have served in their churches for many years. The church upgrades them to reverends because they are looking for a way to distinguish between the new pastors and the ones who have been there for decades. You will notice that in any organization or institution, there is always a way to show that one is moving from a lower level to a higher one.
As churches grow, they need to have more structure and leadership roles. Because of this, they need to have different leadership levels and this necessitates the introduction of different pastoral levels. A reverend is considered higher than a pastor in the hierarchy, but ideally, they are both pastors. They only differ in names.
The Term Reverned is given also as a Title of Honor. Men and Women servants of God are by some Faiths and Christian Religions this added title of honor. It is sometimes used in this manner, the Reverned John Smith, Most Reverned Father, Most Reverned Mother.
They are to ensure that the church grows in their faith and are serving God in the right way. Ephesians 4:12-13 tells us that pastors (and apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teachers) are supposed to equip the church to serve God so that the body of Christ may be built up. They are to ensure that the church remains in unity in the faith and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. If we are to mature in the faith, we need the spiritual nourishment that pastors give us every Sunday.
12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Biblical Used of the Term Revern
Malachi 2:5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name.
- 1 Peter 3:2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
- Leviticus 19:30“ ‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord .
- Leviticus 26:2“ ‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord .
- Acts 10:25As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.
- Deuteronomy 8:6Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.
- Titus 2:3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
- Psalms 33:8Let all the earth fear the Lord ; let all the people of the world revere him.
- Job 37:24Therefore, people revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart? ”
- Psalms 102:15The nations will fear the name of the Lord , all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
- Jeremiah 44:10To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your ancestors.
- Leviticus 19:32“ ‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord .
- Hebrews 5:7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
- Acts 7:41That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.
- Psalms 22:23You who fear the Lord , praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
- 2 Kings 4:1The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord . But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
- Hosea 10:3Then they will say, “We have no king because we did not revere the Lord . But even if we had a king, what could he do for us?”
- Joshua 5:14“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
- Colossians 3:22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
- Deuteronomy 13:4It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
What are Some of the Things that Pastors and Reverends do in the Church?
Preach and Teach
Pastors and reverends preach and teach God’s Word on Sundays and other days of the week. You will find them taking their time to make believers understand the Scriptures. They are always ready to answer any questions about the Christian faith. They have a passion for preaching God’s Word because they want believers to live a righteous life.
Offer Prayer Counseling
Both pastors and reverends are available to pray with members of their churches when the need arises. Their work is to care for God’s people and anything that hinders them from living a victorious life, they are ready to step in with their prayers. Prayer is an important part of the Christian life, and pastors and reverends are always ready to pray with others and also teach them how to pray.
Oversee Affairs of Various Church Ministries
Most churches are organized into ministries that take care of the different needs of the congregation. The most common ones are prayer, women, men, children, missions, and hospitality. Each ministry has a leader who is in charge of running the day to day affairs but does so under the guidance of pastors and reverends.
Pastors and reverends are instrumental in the growth of the church and give of their time to lead the Christian faithful. When churches expand and need to give more responsibilities to pastors, they usually promote some of them to be reverends so that they can assign them branches of churches.
Although pastors and reverends differ in name, they have more or less the same responsibilities. This does not make either more important than the other because they both have important roles to pray in the church. Pastors and reverends are servants of God, and they are instrumental in the growth of the church. We should not be stuck on what titles mean but focus on how we can serve God together and advance the Kingdom of God.