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The gift of ‘pastor teacher’ is one gift, not two. The description of it takes two words to explain. The word, "pastor", means "to shepherd." The elders were all to be shepherds of the "flock." (Acts 20:28-31, I Peter 5:1-5) This word -"pastor" - shows that the elder is to have the God-given ability to feed, lead, and give heed to the church. The second word, "teacher", means that the person is to be divinely equipped to prepare and serve a balanced, nutritious, and spiritual diet.

There is another gift, i.e. ‘Teacher’, that is a separate gift from ‘pastor teacher’. We shall deal with it shortly.

Every believer is a priest, but some are called to have the "pastor-teacher gift." They are to aid in the leading and feeding the flock.

Elders were to "shepherd the flock" (Acts 20:28, I Pet. 5:1-4). They were not to "lord" over the flock, but to be "examples" to them. This was a position of leading by example and love. Too many, in that day and this day also, try to make the leaders of the church a superior class of Christian. They want almost a priesthood, to "lord" over the laity. This was the doctrine of the "Nicolaitanes" referred to in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. The Lord said He hated this doctrine. We are all "priests" to God. The elders were in leadership of the facilities, outreach, and serving of the priesthood. They were not the "bosses" of the flock. Only the Jesus is our "Lord."

Elders were to be "able to teach" (I Tim. 3:2). The early church had a plurality of elders in the local churches (Acts 14:23, 20:17, I Peter 5:1-4). One of them may be elected to head the church, but many "pastor-teachers" are needed in the church. Some teach, some will edify or exhort others in other positions in the church.

Paul said that he was a "pastor-teacher." He described this gift in I Thessalonians 2:7-12:



is one who is supernaturally endowed with the ability to explain God's Word in a comprehensible manner. It is mentioned in several lists (Romans 12:7, I Cor. 12:28-29, Eph. 4:11). Sometimes, a ‘teacher’ takes no role in the ‘pastor’, or shepherding part, but simply is a teacher of the Word of God.

Paul had the gift of teaching. He spent a year and six months in Corinth. There he was:

Acts 18:11


Aquila and Priscilla were gifted teachers (Acts 18:26).

Those who are teachers will love to teach. They will do it with enthusiasm. They will love to study the Word of God. The gift is supernaturally endowed, yet they will not depend simply on the Spirit for the words. They will take the insight and truth the Spirit gives them, add it to the special insight into the pupils that the Spirit gives, and add much preparation in the Word, and present the truth in a way that startles the understanding of the hearers. Every church should have many with this gift. If it has only a few with this gift, and the other teachers are trying to do it with only natural talent, hard work, or training, -then the gifted ones should lay hands on the others so they may also receive this gift.

The ‘pastor teacher’ takes an administration role along with the ‘teaching’ role, assumes responsibility for the flock that he/she is teaching, and is given more leadership responsibilities.

God has set some in the churches that have a calling of being a ‘teacher’. The ‘apostles’ are the missionary, church planters, that take the gospel to new unchurches communities. The prophets are those who speak forth the rhema Word of God. Then the churches so established need ‘teachers’ to help the congregation to put down deep roots.

The word ‘teacher’ is the Greek word ‘didaskalos’. Some identify this calling with ‘pastor’, but the pastor calling has teaching, preaching, and administrating a church.

1 Corinthians 12:28-31 (KJV)

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Paul, Barnabas and others were given a teaching calling from God. This calling is a vitally important and powerful calling.

Acts 13:1-3 (KJV)

1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

God Himself is the Teacher. It is His nature to teach. The opening chapters of the Bible show God as a Teacher. In the garden of Eden, He instructed man as to man’s role, man’s duties, man’s privileges, and requirements He was putting upon mankind.

Isaiah 45:21 (KJV)

21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: Who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me.

Psalm 27:11 (KJV)

11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

Psalm 32:8 (KJV)

8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.





God is our Supreme Teacher. He has been instructing for ages, and chooses agents of His children to teach His ways also. Many Old Testament believers obeyed God’s command to teach.

Moses was a teacher, and it was a command from God that he teach.


Deuteronomy 4:5 (KJV)

5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.

Samuel had a school of the prophets. King Jehosophat sent 16 teachers to all the cities of Judah, to teach the law. Ezra and Nehemiah opened a Bible school in Jerusalem following the captivity. Isaiah said the young should be taught ‘precept upon precept.’

Isaiah 28:9-10 (KJV)

9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Jesus came as a Teacher.

Matthew 4:23 (KJV)

23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Jesus is addressed 90 times in Scripture, and 60 of those times He is called a ‘Rabbi’, or ‘Teacher’. Nicodemus considered Him a Teacher.

John 3:2 (KJV)

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with Him.

The enemies of Jesus even called Him ‘Teacher’, though it may at times have been sarcasm.

Matthew 22:15-16 (KJV)

15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk.

16 And they sent out unto Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that Thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest Thou for any man: for Thou regardest not the person of men.

Jesus considered Himself to be a Teacher.

John 13:13 (KJV)

13 Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

Jesus commanded His disciples to teach also.

Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The disciples, and many others since, have obeyed the command to teach.

Acts 5:42 (KJV)

42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

The early church was a teaching church. The first persecution was promised by the teaching of Peter and by John. They commanded to teach in the name of Jesus.

Acts 4:18 (KJV)

18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Later, the disciples were charged with:

Acts 5:28 (KJV)

28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.

Peter responded to their charges about his teaching:

Acts 5:29 (KJV)

29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Paul was a teacher. He was appointed to be a ‘preacher, an apostle, and a teacher:

2 Timothy 1:11 (KJV)

11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Paul had been a scholar taught by Gamaliel, and well trained in the teaching of the synagogue. Early in the ministry, he taught with Barnabas at Antioch for a year. During Paul’s ministry, upon entering a city, he would go to the synagogue and teach. Paul encouraged Timothy to teach and to train other teachers.

2 Timothy 2:2 (KJV)

2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Paul taught that the church was to have a teaching ministry.

Ephesians 4:11-12 (KJV)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers (didaskalos, teachers);

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

1 Corinthians 12:28 (KJV)

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Later centuries have shown many great teachers of the faith. John Wesley was certainly one of the great teachers of the faith. In 1737, he felt called of God, and made the sudden conversion and complete forgiveness of sins as the foundation of his teaching. He wrote books, he traveled extensively, teaching the Word. Many like him have continued the teaching as the early church did.

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