What is a pastor-teacher?

A pastor-teacher is an individual believer with the unique ability to communicate Bible Doctrine.

The term pastor-teacher has a two-fold connotation: it can refer to one of the ten permanent spiritual gifts given by God the Holy Spirit for the edification of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12) or it can refer to the full-time office of overseer or elder who communicates Bible Doctrine in a local church (1 Timothy 3:1-7; cf., Titus 1:5-9). While the spiritual gift is permanent, the ministry of an individual believer can change. An individual believer who possesses the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher will always possess the unique ability to communicate Bible Doctrine regardless of whether or not he holds a full-time office in a local church or ministry.

At the moment of his salvation [when he is spiritually regenerated or born-again], God the Holy Spirit bestows the individual believer with at least one of ten permanent spiritual gifts. (1 Peter 4:10)

A spiritual gift is a unique ability empowered by God the Holy Spirit that is given to every individual believer at the moment of his salvation during this present Church Age dispensation to enable him to operate above and beyond his natural human ability. . . . Since Jesus Christ Himself chooses the designated individual believer to whom God the Holy Spirit bestows a certain spiritual gift, They do so on the basis of Their grace and omniscience and apart from the individual believer's special status, privilege, or merit. (1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 4:11)

Why is the pastor-teacher needed?

The pastor-teacher is needed for the communication of Bible Doctrine.

The pastor-teacher is the mouthpiece who communicates Bible Doctrine to other individual believers [other members of the Body of Christ]. Apart from the ministry of the pastor-teacher in communicating Bible Doctrine, other individual believers would have no access to Bible Doctrine. Without the intake of Bible Doctrine, other individual believers cannot grow to spiritual maturity.

The pastor-teacher is directly responsible for the spiritual growth of the individual believer.

While both the pastor-teacher and individual believer digest, metabolize, and assimilate Bible Doctrine through the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit, the pastor-teacher alone possesses the unique ability to extract Bible Doctrine directly from his own personal study of Scripture and communicate it to the individual believer. The individual believer who lacks the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher cannot directly extract Bible Doctrine from his own personal study of Scripture but can only take in Bible Doctrine from the communicating ministry of his right pastor-teacher. Through his unique spiritual gift, the pastor-teacher alone possesses the necessary spiritual perception to directly, genuinely, and accurately extract and communicate Bible Doctrine.

To properly function, both the pastor-teacher and individual believer must be under the filling of God the Holy Spirit.

While the pastor-teacher must be under the filling of God the Holy Spirit to digest, metabolize, assimilate, extract, and communicate Bible Doctrine, the individual believer must be under the filling of God the Holy Spirit to digest, metabolize, and assimilate Bible Doctrine.

Extraction and communication of Bible Doctrine is the exclusive work and ministry of the pastor-teacher.

Enablement of comprehension of Bible Doctrine is the exclusive work and ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

How does an individual believer receive the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher?

An individual believer receives the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher only if he is chosen by Jesus Christ at the moment of his salvation to receive the spiritual gift (Ephesians 4:11). Christ in His omniscience foreknew which individual believer He would choose to receive a certain spiritual gift and have chosen such believer solely for the purpose of the seamless function of the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

God the Holy Spirit bestows the specified spiritual gift on the individual believer whom Christ has chosen.
(1 Corinthians 12:11)

No other human or angelic agency can choose an individual believer to be the recipient of one of the ten permanent spiritual gifts except for Jesus Christ.
 
No other human or angelic agency can bestow on an individual believer one of the ten permanent spiritual gifts except for God the Holy Spirit.

How does an individual believer enter into office as a pastor-teacher?

An individual believer enters into office as a pastor-teacher when, upon self-recognition that he possesses the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher, he himself freely chooses to exercise his unique spiritual gift to fulfill his ministry of communication of Bible Doctrine. Upon deciding that he will utilize his unique spiritual gift to communicate Bible Doctrine, the individual believer then chooses whether or not to operate within the sphere of the office of pastor-teacher in a local church, a ministry outside the local church, or simply as an individual believer who happens to possess the unique ability to communicate Bible Doctrine without holding an official office title or ministry. So long as Bible Doctrine is communicated, regardless of the sphere of operation, the Body of Christ is edified. (Ephesians 4:11-12)

An individual believer can only be a legitimate pastor-teacher if he possesses the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher.

An individual believer cannot be a legitimate pastor-teacher if he does not possess the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher. An individual believer, thus, cannot become a legitimate pastor-teacher by his own will, effort, human appointment, or family inheritance. An individual believer who has not been given the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher by God the Holy Spirit cannot become a pastor-teacher by any means. An individual believer who has been given the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher by God the Holy Spirit need only to recognize it at the point of gift-consciousness, and, upon self-recognition, choose whether or not to utilize his unique spiritual gift to communicate Bible Doctrine.

An individual believer can only be a legitimate pastor-teacher if he can communicate Bible Doctrine.

An individual believer cannot be a legitimate pastor-teacher if he cannot communicate Bible Doctrine. An individual believer without the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher cannot communicate Bible Doctrine. An individual believer who cannot communicate Bible Doctrine cannot become a pastor-teacher by any means. An individual believer without the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher who willfully attempts to communicate Bible Doctrine is subject to communicating false doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3-7; 6:3-5), whether knowingly or unknowingly (2 Timothy 2:14, 16). An individual believer without the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher who willfully attempts to hold the office of pastor-teacher is subject to being a false teacher (2 Peter 2:1; 3:3; cf., Jude 1:4, 16, 18-19; Acts 20:29-30), whether knowingly or unknowingly (2 Timothy 3:13).

Where are pastor-teachers found?

Conventional pastor-teachers, i.e., those individual believers who both possess the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher and hold the office of pastor-teacher, are found all over the world but oftentimes in areas where positive volition toward Bible Doctrine exists. Although their ministry is not necessarily confined to a particular setting or geographical location, they usually function within the scope of their primary ministry setting, i.e., the local bible church, and usually reside within the vicinity of their local meeting location, i.e., the church [sanctuary] building.