One Man Pastor Not found in Scripture
This verse says that Paul called the Elders of the church of Ephesus, (no mention of a pastor or a single elder), but it was the Elders' job to be Overseers or Bishops.
This refutes the idea that the pastor of the church is the only bishop, and the other mature Christian men who lead in the church are the elders. There is no mention or even a hint to a single pastor of this church in Ephesus.
Notice, they appointed elders (plural) in every church. No mention of a singular leader, a pastor, being appointed over each church.
This verse says one church in Jerusalem, but elders is plural. No singular ruler of the church of Jerusalem mentioned. When the apostles died, that left only the elders as leaders.
Notice, the church at Philippi had bishops (plural) or overseers. These were the elders of the church. No mention of a singular pastor over the church.
Again, elders in plural.
Clearly, one church, plural elders, or overseers in the church.
Paul is speaking to the church of Thessalonica and saying to know them and esteem them for their work's sake (All Plural). This is speaking of the elders in the church at Thessalonica. No pastor mentioned.
Preeminence means first place. Diotrephes had the preeminence or first place in the church and loved it. He was running the church, forbidding others in the church to receive brethren, and was casting people out that opposed him. Sounds like this church was run by one man, but John condemned it.
Today, a pastor holds a POSITION in the church which will put him in a place of preeminence. Even Diotrephes didn't have the position of being a singular leader as do modern day pastors. He, as an elder, just gained more power from the church over the other elders and became preeminent and ran the church.
A modern day pastor may be a good man, or he may be a bad man, but the position automatically puts him in the place of preeminence.
Now, the question is, Should there be that one position of authority in the local church?. I believe the Bible teaches that it is wrong.
Thus all the elders in the local church are the undershepherds all on the same level. There is no provision from the Scriptures for a senior elder or senior pastor over the others.
Acts 11:29-30 - Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Acts 16:4 - And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
Acts 21:18 - And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.1 Timothy 5:17 - Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Again, elders in plural.
- Repent for sins
- Have Faith in Jesus alone
- Renounce the False Church System
- Be baptized in the name of Jesus, if not baptised already
- Start / Attend a House Fellowship
- Preach the Gospel
- Read Bible & Pray daily
- Obey His Commandments
- Feed the Poor
- Exhibit the Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)