How should a church body select a pastor and what should the relationship between a pastor and the elders or board of directors be? 


First of all I assume you are using the term “pastor” in the sense of “minister” or “preacher” because in the New Testament the term “pastor” and “elder” refer to the same persons. “Pastor” is the Latin translation of the Greek poimen which in English is translated “Shepherd”.

Secondly the terms “elders” and “board of directors” are not the same. The New Testament Church did not have a “board of directors”, but they did have elders, and it was always plural in number.


1. presbutos “presbyter” “elder” – old (maturity)

2. episcopus “episcopal” “bishop” – “overseer”

3. poimen “shepherd” – tending the flock “Pastor”

4. euangelistes “evangelist” “Evangelist” – Preacher, messenger

Acts 14:23 “And when they had ordained them elders (1) in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”

Titus 1:5 “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders (1) in every city, as I had appointed thee:” Titus 1:7 “For a bishop (2) must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;”

Acts 20:17 “And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders (1) of the church.”

Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, (3) over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (2), to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

1 Timothy 5:17 “Let the elders (1) +that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”

Philippians 1:1 “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops (2) and deacons:”

1 Peter 5:1 “The elders (1) which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder (1), and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:” 1 Peter 5:2 “Feed the flock (3) of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;” 1 Peter 5:3 “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock (3).”

Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists (4) and some, pastors (3)and teachers;”

Hebrews 13:7 “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

From these verses we see the elders are to (1) feed the church (2) guard the flock (3) rule the church (4) tend the flock (5) watch over their souls. The members, of which the minister is one, are to be submissive to the elders, but the elders are not to “lord over them”. The Elders are to lead by example.

As far as selecting a preacher, there is no specific New Testament pattern or command laid down. The members can give input, but the final decision is up to the elders. It seems the main thing to consider would be (1) Does he preach the truth? (2) Does he live that truth?

By Gary Hunt