1. Is it in the Bible?
Jer 2:8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and
they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also
transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal,
and walked after things that do not profit.
Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Jer 10:21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
Jer 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
Jer 22:22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
Jer 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
Jer 23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
2. What do we believe it means?
The bible says that a shepherd is a leader. God has appointed shepherds to have authority over the church.
3. What does it really mean?
Once again, when we study the Bible we see that the church is being defined and operated by the old covenant and disregards the new covenant. In the Old covenant the leaders of Israel were referred to as "shepherds". but notice the new testament uses of the word. there is absolutely no mention of a shepherd/pastor as being 'in authority" or as a "leader' of the church.
the new testament redefines ministry and leadership and authority. It presents and demonstrates a non-authoritarian operational plan (apostleship). Within this simple plan (small group meetings there is a ministry (service) which any believer may operate in (see ephesians 4 --again!) called pastor/shepherd.
this anointing is one of releasing other believers to serve God. It is simple, yet very important. Like all the ministries the Bible describes, it is a personal ministry and not rulership or authority over others.
Tradition tells us "pastor" is a battleship--the
Bible says a pastor is a tugboat.