Purpose of this Session
Surprisingly, this is the only verse in the New Testament where the word ‘pastor’ is used. This is even more surprising when we consider the predominance that the ‘pastor’ and pastoral ministry has had over the past centuries in the church paradigm. This imbalance is something that will be dealt with in these last days, with a restoration of the full five-fold ascension gift ministries to the Body.
“and He gave some…pastors.” Ephesians 4:11
The Greek word translated pastor in this verse is ‘poimen’. It occurs 18 times in the New Testament and on every other occasion it is translated more accurately as simply “shepherd”. It literally means, “one who feeds, tends a flock, or keeps sheep.”
The pastoral ministry, and the amazing supernatural ascension gift of ‘pastor’ then, is a shepherding anointing – to feed, lead and guide God’s flock.
Matthew 9:36; 25:32; 26:31
Mark 6:34; 14:27
1 Peter 2:25
John 10:2, 11-16
Throughout Scripture those referred to as shepherds in relation to God’s people were those who took a place of oversight and government within the called out company, and a place of responsibility to care and protect them.
The Shepherds of Israel were their leaders (although some often led the people of God astray) (Jer 2:8;25:34-36; 50:6).
This idea of a place of leadership is also found in the Greek word used in connection with the pastoral ministry, poimaino, meaning “to tend as a shepherd”. It is translated both “feed” emphasizing the caring and gentle side of the pastoral ministry and anointing (Luke 17:7; John 21:16; Acts 20:28; Rev 7:17), and also “rule” emphasizing the governmental authority of a true shepherd (Matt 2:6; Rev 2:26-27; 12:5; 19:15).
Both the noun ‘poimen’ and the verb ‘poimaino’ probably find their common root in the word “poia” meaning protect. Joseph Thayer in his Greek Lexicon describes a spiritual shepherd as one “to whose care and control others have committed themselves, and whose precepts they follow.”