ARTICLE  VII – THE PASTOR/TEACHER

Section 1. Identification

Among the Elders who must all be “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2), there will be those who, because of their giftedness, “labor hard at preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17). One or more of these men may, in response to God’s call, devote his vocational life to the ministry of the Word and prayer in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. A vocational elder may be a “ruling” elder (an elder vocationally devoted to church oversight in general) or a “preaching and teaching” elder (an elder vocationally devoted to shepherding the flock primarily by teaching and preaching) (1 Timothy 5:17). Those devoted to the task of shepherding the flock by preaching and teaching are referred to as “Pastor-Teacher” in Ephesians 4:11. According to the Apostle Paul, all elders are entitled to honor but those who rule well or work hard at preaching and teaching are worthy of “double honor.” It is not inconsistent with the principle of shared equal leadership to have one or more men who have broader influence and vision. Equality of office does not equate to equality of giftedness. The Pastor-Teacher, by virtue of his gifts and responsibilities, is a leader among leaders though his authority does not extend beyond his single vote among the Elders. Potter Valley Bible Church will endeavor to have at least one vocational Pastor-Teacher on staff to feed the flock of God.

Section 2. Qualifications

A Pastor-Teacher must be called of God (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and equipped by Him for the office by the manifest bestowal of the appropriate spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-7; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 3:2, 4:14; 1 Peter 4:11). Further, this man (1 Timothy 2:12) must meet the biblical qualifications specified in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, Titus 1:6-9; and 1 Peter 5:1-4. A Pastor-Teacher must also be in full agreement with the Doctrinal Statement of Potter Valley Bible Church.

Section 3. Call

When the pastorate is vacant, the Elders shall assume all responsibility for pulpit supply and shall initiate proceedings for establishing a new Pastor-Teacher (cf. Titus 1:5).

A Pastor-Teacher shall be selected by a unanimous decision of the Elders. The Elders shall determine that any candidate for the office meets the Scriptural qualifications as outlined in Article VIII, Section 2. To assist them in this process, the Elders will present the candidate to the church for their consideration. The entire Body will be given one month to express concerns or reservations to the Elders, personally and in the form of a ” qualifications questionnaire” that will be made available to all member families.

After the Elders have acted upon the input of the congregation and if the Elders are in unanimous agreement that the man has indeed been qualified by the grace of God for leadership within the church as the Pastor-Teacher, the Elders will affirm what God has already done in the man’s life by setting him apart as the Pastor-Teacher at any regular meeting, and he will be recognized by the Church from that time forward as the Pastor-Teacher.

Section 4. Responsibilities

The Pastor-Teacher shall be an ex officio member of all councils and committees, and he shall be responsible to the Board of Elders. The Pastor-Teacher shall arrange for and conduct all public and regular services of the church and shall be responsible for general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church. In the absence of the Pastor-Teacher, the Board of Elders shall be responsible to arrange for the public and regular services of the church.

Section 5. Termination

The position of Pastor-Teacher shall be open-ended, with no stipulated time limit. Any accusation against the Pastor-Teacher shall be governed by the principles laid out in Article VI, Section 4, concerning the Elders. His tenure can be terminated in one of two ways: (1) by resignation or (2) by removal.

(a) In the case of resignation, he must give 30 days written notice to the Elders, but this period may be lessened by mutual agreement. After submitting his written resignation to the Elders, the pastor shall make a public announcement to the congregation at the next Sunday morning service. His resignation shall then be considered official and final. The Elders shall be responsible to formulate and formalize a settlement or severance agreement, which shall include all remuneration, back pay, vacation time, expenses, etc. If the pastor owes the church any money because of loans or salary advances, etc., he will be required to reimburse the church and any such debt will be factored into the severance agreement. Also, the time frame and rate of payoff of the severance agreement will be determined realistically by the Elders in light of the present and future obligations of the church.

(b) In the case of removal through the disciplinary action by the Elders (Article VI, Section 4) the pastor’s termination will be immediate, and the Elders shall make a public announcement to the congregation at the next regularly scheduled meeting. While he shall not be eligible for the normal considerations of a severance agreement, the pastor may be given up to but not exceeding one month’s salary as settlement at the discretion of the Elders. However, all remuneration due him such as salary, vacation pay, expenses, etc., will be paid immediately. If he owes the church any money because of loans, advances on salary, etc., he will be required to reimburse the church immediately. Any other modifying arrangements will be made upon mutual agreement of the Elders.