Some preachers do not believe that the Bible supports multiple pastors. As Baptists we believe that the terms "pastor," "bishop," and "elder" refer to the same person. Proof texts for this belief include Acts 20 and 1Peter 5, where the same persons are given all three titles. "Pastor" refers to the man's spiritual ministry. "Bishop" refers to the man's spiritual management. And "elder" refers to his spiritual maturity. Now, as to the plurality of elders, we read in Acts 14:23 that Paul arranged for the ordination of elders (plural) in every church. Pastor Almanza and I believe in a plurality of elders. He, of course, is the lead pastor, and I serve as his assistant. Too many pastors who have assistants treat them as "water-boys." They are given a variety of duties that are related to the ministry, but rarely do assistant pastors function as a pastor. I am not sure of the reasons behind this activity. Perhaps there is a fear of usurping authority. Perhaps there is a lack of understanding of the role of a pastor. Certainly, one man needs to stand as the head of the local church. A body without a head is an anomally. That "head" should then delegate responsibilities to assistants, as one would delegate responsibilities to other church members.
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