Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

A Video Introduction to the Five-fold: The Pastor

Here is a brief description of the pastor, or what I like to call soul healer.

Learn more about the pastor here. For a more thorough description, check out my recent book Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World (2012 IVP).

2 Responses to A Video Introduction to the Five-fold: The Pastor

  1. Ron Bailey says:

    The Greek makes it crystal clear that the ‘fivefold’ is ‘fourfolf’. “Pastors and Teachers” being a single category.

  2. JR Woodward says:


    Thanks for dropping by. While I’m not a Greek scholar, I would say in regards to the pastor and teacher being one gift that the Greek scholars are not all in agreement on this issue. It has been debated for some time. For example, Daniel B. Wallace in his fine book Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, says in Pg. 284 that those who have seen pastors and teachers as one gift, verses two have

    “erroneously thought that the Granville Sharp rule absolutely applied to plural constructions. Also, against the ‘one gift’ view, there are no clear examples of nouns being used in a plural TSKS construction to specify one group. However, we are not shut up to the ‘entirely distinct groups’ option only.”

    “The uniting of these two groups by one article sets them apart from the other gifted leaders. Absolute distinction, then, is probably not in view. In light of the fact that elders and pastors has similar functions in the NT, since elders were to be teachers, the pastors were also to be teachers. Further, presumably not all teachers were elders or pastors. (Rom. 12:7, I Cor. 12:28,29, Heb. 5:12, Jas 3:1, perhaps 2 Tim. 2:2). This evidence seems to suggest that the poimenas were a part of the didaskalous in Eph 4:11. This likelihood is in keeping with the semantics of the plural noun construction, for the first-subset-of-second category is well-attested in both the clear and ambiguous texts in the NT. Thus, Eph 4:11 seems to affirm that all pastors were to be teachers, though not all teachers were to be pastors.”

    You can look at his book for the important footnotes. Dan Wallace in this book, as well as in a full-length technical paper doesn’t make the case that these must be separate offices, he does say though that the Greek does not demand that they be one office, and that we should determine the answer from the context.

    In addition, William W. Combs when talking about the Biblical Role of the Evangelist in the DBSJ7 (Fall 202) 23-48 also refers to Wallace’s work when he says,

    “We should begin by noting that Paul lists a total of five kinds of
    spiritually gifted people: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and
    teachers. A popular interpretation sees only four groups, with pastors
    and teachers being equated as one group or office—the pastor-
    teacher. The argument for equating the two is most often syntactical—while
    “apostles” and “prophets” and “evangelists” are each modified by separate articles
    (see article for Greek words). Sometimes this is incorrectly identified as a Granville Sharp
    construction. But the Granville Sharp rule applies only to singular nouns, not plural ones,
    as in Ephesians 4:11. Wallace has now clearly demonstrated that the equating of
    “pastors and teachers” is an invalid conclusion that fails to understand the real significance
    of the syntactical structure. Actually, the grammar strongly suggests that in
    the case of “pastors and teachers,” the first group, pastors, is to be
    viewed as a subset of the second group, teachers. “Thus, Eph 4:11
    seems to affirm that all pastors were to be teachers, though not all
    teachers were to be pastors.” We might, therefore, translate the last
    part of Ephesians 4:11, “some apostles, and some prophets, and some
    evangelists, and some pastors and other teachers.” Pastors and teachers
    are separate groups though the grammar of Ephesians 4:11 is designed
    to denote that pastors are always gifted as teachers, though not vice
    versa. Of course, teachers are also clearly listed as a distinct group in
    1 Corinthians 12:28, 29 and a distinguishable gift in Romans 12:7.
    Thus pastor-teacher is still an appropriate title for those in the group
    Paul calls pastors, but there still remains a fifth group who are strictly

    As I have lived into the five-fold for the last 12 years of my ministry, from my ministry experience I have concluded that that not all teachers are pastors. This is also the case for many others who have given much attention to this text and maybe more importantly sought to practice it in their life. All that to say, I still hold to the five-fold.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.