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What is a Christian minister?

A minister is literally a "servant," but in religious circles, the term has taken on a broader meaning. A Christian minister is now regarded as someone who is qualified to conduct religious services. A Christian minister is someone who leads worship services, manages a church, or officiates at weddings and funerals. Clergy and pastor are synonyms for minister.

The role of minister in the Bible is not linked to licensing or being a "official" with some sort of authority. Paul was called to be "a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles," according to Romans 15:16, and "God gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an acceptable offering to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." Following in Paul's footsteps, a Christian minister is someone who wants to serve God by "proclaiming the gospel so that... others may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit." In general, being a Christian minister entails being a servant of Christ.

Individual churches can define more specific roles for ministers or pastors in their congregations. Although Scripture specifies that a man should be the spiritual leader of a local body (1 Timothy 2:12), other ministering roles are open to both men and women. In most non-Catholic churches, a senior minister is in charge of the majority of preaching and church administration. Such men are referred to as "overseers," "elders," or "shepherds" in the New Testament (Acts 20:28; Titus 1:7; 1 Timothy 3:1–2). These terms refer to "ministers" who have been called by God to lead a church in an official capacity.

Those aspiring to the position of overseer must follow strict guidelines. An elder or minister must be "blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient... not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain... not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain..." Rather, he must be hospitable, someone who values goodness and is self-disciplined, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must cling to the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that he can both encourage others and refute those who oppose it." (6–9) Titus 1:6–9 Titus 1:6–9 Titus 1:6

The role of overseer is described as "a noble task" in First Timothy 3:1–7. A minister must also "have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap," according to the Bible.


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