I found a really hot topic on another pastor’s wife’s blog on “Women in the church“. The different roles within the church. It has received a wide range of comments from agreement with the author to the vehement disagreement of a few. I’ve really enjoyed getting in on the debate and have been checking back for additional comments every day. So I’m going to ask you, what do you think about this topic?I’m not talking about a woman’s role verses a man’s role in society or the home but specifically about a church governmental role and according to the Bible it is the elders who are the governmental leaders in any local church. My view is that according to the Bible it is a position that should be held by men. Amy started this “hot topic” and I want to dig into it further. She wrote that in all the hundreds of areas and roles in the church and in ministry there are only 2 areas in which a woman should not lead…Let me see if I can do some background research for you and try to explain. Once you’ve fully read both what I’ve written, what Amy wrote and Scripture then please leave a comment. But first things first… The correct translation of “pastor” verses the commonly used term for “elder”. If a pastor was the highest authority in a local church then Paul the apostle would have been in error when he in Acts 20:17 called for the elders of the church. The Greek word used is “presbuteros” or the English translation “elder.” Notice he didn’t call for the pastors but for the elders. Notice also that in Titus 1:5 Paul told Titus (a young apostle) to set in presbuteros or elders in the churches on the island of Crete. In the address of Acts 20 (which was his last visit with them) to the “elders” of the Ephesian church he goes on describe their function (Acts 20:28). He says the Holy Spirit has made you “overseers”, the Greek word for overseer is “episkopos” from which we get the word “bishop”. The word bishop was never meant as a title but simply as the function of the elders in a local church. All of the elders in a local church are called to function as the oversight of every aspect of the local church. Paul tells the elders what an overseer does in verse 28, “feed the flock”. The Greek word used here is “poimaino ” and it is what the “poimain” do. The word pastor comes from this Greek word. It can also be translated as “shepherd”. He says the exact same thing in Titus, to set in or ordain elders (presbuteros) and in verse 7 he describes that these elders are episkopos or bishops/overseers. So here we have Paul establishing who the governmental head of each local church is to be. It is also established by Peter (an apostle) when in 1 Peter 5:1 he says, “To the elders (presbuteros) among you, I appeal as a fellow elder (presbuteros, in the church of Jerusalem)…”, vs. 2 “Be shepherds (poimain or pastors) of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as episkopos (overseers or bishops)…” To truly understand how Jesus established the leadership of the church you have to view the church as a family not as a corporation. God modeled the family after the heavenly family (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and the church after the earthly family. If you read cover to cover you’ll notice that He likes patterns and He likes things done in order. I haven’t said all this to confuse you but to set the stage and help you understand the New Testament pattern of church leadership, showing the reasons that God set in place for who can be a presbuteros or an elder. (Read the relating requirements to be an elder in Titus 1:6.) Also note that Pastor or Bishop are not titles but the work that they do, it is their function.