Should the end-time church be led by apostles and prophets or is it in the hands of elders / presbyters and deacons?
Our position on the office of elder is that it refers to a pastor, bishop (or overseer) and that the words are interchangeable. While the term “bishop” is a Biblical word, it is simply the older English term in the KJV rendered in modern English versions as “overseer” – which is the equivalent of an elder i.e. not a separate office.
In many churches, a pastor is seen as a notch higher than an elder, while a bishop is again regarded as higher than a pastor. Methodists, Episcopalians, Anglicans, Lutherans and Catholics recognize bishops in roles above the congregational level. Catholics have added positions like archbishops (a bishop over a larger city) and cardinals (an advisory panel for the Pope). The head of a local church is called a parish priest, Father, Reverend or Pastor (in the US).
Some Protestants have adopted further offices like senior pastor and associate pastor, while some have started using bishop as an office more senior than an elder or pastor.
Our own STATEMENT OF FAITH reads as follows :
The Greek word for pastor is “poimen” and simply means shepherd or overseer. The terms pastor, elder and deacon describe ministries and are not meant to be titles, in accordance with the word of Jesus.
Matt 23:9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.