What should the men be called who give their life to preaching the gospel of Christ?

Actually, they do not have a formal title. The terms that are used in the New Testament in reference to those men who proclaim the gospel depict their work in the spiritual kingdom of our Lord. To illustrate: for one to serve in the church is to minister. EVERY faithful child of God is a minister of the Lord (Matthew 20:25-28). The one who preaches for a local congregation is not Minister Jones (or whatever is his name), but a fellow minister (servant) along with all his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The term minister is not an exclusive designation for those who preach. Anyone in the church who faithfully performs a service in the kingdom of our Lord is a faithful minister. Therefore, the one who preaches is not the Minister! Nor should he be referred to as “our Minister”, since every faithful child of God is to minister. We are to be: a “minister of God” (1 Thessalonians 3:2); “a good minister of Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 4:6); “ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15). Of a certainty, one who preaches has the ministry of proclaiming the gospel, but he is not exclusively the minister of a congregation.

What does he do in carrying out his ministry? He preaches the gospel of Christ; therefore, he is a preacher (1 Timothy 2:7). Also, he is an evangelist because he heralds or proclaims the truth (2 Timothy 4:5). Still, these are not formal titles, but reveal his work in the kingdom of Christ. In a similar fashion, we speak of a person as an electrician, baker, farmer, and etc. to describe that person’s trade or occupation in the secular world. Thus, the terms preacher, evangelist, and minister of the gospel are not titles, but reveals the work of those who preach.

There are many unscriptural terminologies used in the denominational world for those who preach for them. Several denominations call their local preacher their pastor. The preacher as such is not a pastor. The terms elders, bishops, and pastors refer to the same group of men who oversee a local congregation (Philippians 1:1; Acts 20:17). Elders are the pastors (shepherds) of the flock (the local church, 1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28). A local church cannot scripturally have one pastor (elder), but are to select two or more men (not women) to oversee their congregation (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). These men must be married and have believing children (those who are Christians, 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-11).

Other terms in the form of titles without Biblical authority include: “Father” (as a religious title, Matt. 23:5-11); “Rabbi”; “Reverend”; “Monsignor”; “Archbishop”; “Cardinal”; and “Pope.”

--Dub Mowery

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