9. The Minister of the Word

  1. This office is the first in the Church, both for dignity and usefulness. The person who fills it has in Scripture different titles expressive of his various duties. As he has the oversight of the flock of Christ, he is termed Bishop. As he feeds them with spiritual food, he is termed Pastor. As he serves Christ in the Church, he is termed Minister. As it is his duty to be grave and prudent, and an example to the flock, and to govern well in the house and kingdom of Christ, he is termed Presbyter or Elder. As he is sent to declare the will of God to sinners, and to beseech them to be reconciled to God through Christ, he is termed Ambassador. As he bears the glad tidings of salvation to the ignorant and perishing, he is termed Evangelist. As he stands to proclaim the Gospel, he is termed Preacher. As he expounds the Word, and by sound doctrine both exhorts and convinces the gainsayer, he is termed Teacher. As he dispenses the manifold grace of God, and the ordinances instituted by Christ, he is termed Steward of the mysteries of God. These titles do not indicate different grades of office, but all describe one and the same officer.
  2. He that fills this office should possess a competency of human learning, and be blameless in life, sound in the faith, and apt to teach; he should exhibit a sobriety and holiness of life becoming the Gospel; he should rule his own house well; and should have a good report of them that are without.
  3. As the Lord has given different gifts to the Ministers of the Word, and has committed to them various works to execute, the Church is authorized to call and appoint them to labor as Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists, and in such other works as may be needful to the Church, according to the gifts in which they excel.
  4. When a Minister is called to labor as a Pastor, it belongs to his office to pray for and with his flock, as the mouth of the people unto God; to feed the flock, by reading, expounding, and preaching the Word; to direct the congregation in singing the praises of God; to administer the sacraments; to catechize the children and youth; to visit officially the people, devoting especial attention to the poor, the sick, the afflicted, and the dying; and with the other Elders, to exercise the joint power of government—and to that end, he shall be an ex officio member of every board and committee of the church.
  5. When a Minister is appointed to be a teacher in a school of divinity, or to give instruction in the doctrines and duties of religion to youth assembled in a college or university, it appertains to his office to take a pastoral oversight of those committed to his charge, and to be diligent in sowing the seed of the Word and gathering the fruit thereof, as one who watches for souls.
  6. When a Minister is appointed to the work of the Evangelist, he is commissioned to preach the Word and administer the sacraments in foreign countries, frontier settlements, or the destitute parts of the Church; and to him may be entrusted power to organize churches, and ordain Ruling Elders and Deacons therein. He is commissioned for a renewable term of twelve months to preach the Word, to administer the Sacraments, to receive and dismiss members of mission churches, and to train potential officers.
  7. When a Minister is called to labor through the press, in an educational setting, or in any other similar necessary work, it shall be incumbent on him to make full proof of his ministry by disseminating the Gospel for the edification of the Church. He shall give a report of his work to the Presbytery annually.
  8. The Presbytery may, at its discretion, approve the call of a Minister to work with an organization outside the jurisdiction of Evangel Presbytery, provided that he be engaged in preaching and teaching the Word, that the Presbytery be assured he will have full freedom to maintain and teach the doctrine of our Church, and that he submit a written report on his work to the Presbytery at least annually.

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