Lead and Oversee the Church

What does a pastor do? He ministers the Word both publicly and personally. He gives spiritual care to people. And he leads and oversees the church.

One of the terms used in the New Testament to refer to the pastor is “overseer.” Or you might see the older word “bishop” in some Bible translations. Overseer is a good literal translation of the original New Testament word. The word in Greek (the language in which the New Testament was first written) is episkopos.

If you separate it into two parts, you get epi and skopos

Epi means “over.” Skopos means “to see,” like with a scope. The whole word means “to oversee.” Part of a pastor’s job is to oversee the church.

1 Timothy 3:1 says, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.”

1 Timothy 5:17 says, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” The word “elders” is another term for the office of pastor. To “rule well” is to oversee.

Peter instructs pastors to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight” (1 Peter 5:2).

As an overseer, a pastor provides leadership to the church. Pastors give direction for the ministry and guide it as an organization. They make plans that reflect the church’s mission and lead the church in pursuing them. They equip and enlist people in various positions of responsibility.

A pastor is often the person up front, leading the service when the church gathers for worship and instruction. He also oversees by protecting the church from false teaching, corrupting influences, and division.

Some people are natural leaders. However, not all pastors feel comfortable and confident in a leadership role. Many of the qualities and practices of a leader can be learned. And of course God enables us to do what we could not otherwise do.