How do you refer to the lead shepherd in your church (or how do you want to be referred to, if this is you)?

Pastor
52% (16 votes)
Preacher
0% (0 votes)
Rev.
0% (0 votes)
Mr.
0% (0 votes)
First Name
19% (6 votes)
Youngsters should use a title (one of above), board members first name
3% (1 vote)
Really don't care at all (not even a preference)
6% (2 votes)
Other
3% (1 vote)
Two or more of the above
16% (5 votes)
Total votes: 31
4418 reads

There are 21 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

As a pastor, I like to go by "Pastor Ed," but I prefer board members, etc., to just use my first name (which is fine).  I prefer parents, though, to teach their kids to call me "Pastor Ed," and that is how I usually introduce myself to visitors.

 

I slightly dislike being called the "Preacher" (reminds me of Barney Google), and the other titles don't bother me much.  Now if some well-meaning Catholic calls me, "Father Ed," that takes me aback, but I let her ride.  Actually, I have pastored the church I serve so long that the Catholic kids in the neighborhood call me "Father Time" (borrowed that one from the Jack Benny program).

"The Midrash Detective"

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I get the occasional first name but folks in the congregation have usually used Pastor. With those outside my congregation, I prefer just the first name because we don't really have a pastoral relationship.

Sometimes "the preacher" lands on me. Not my favorite either, but I don't object.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Jim,

That probably works more easily today than it would have in my generation. We had a huge amount of "respect for the office" drilled into us. Even though my pastor is probably 15 years younger than I am, I would feel pretty weird calling him by his first name unless he insisted on it. And then it would still feel weird!

I would guess that titles are in our culture similar to what a "holy kiss" was to Paul's -- a normal cultural practice.

Dave Barnhart

Jim's picture

In reply to Dave who said: "We had a huge amount of "respect for the office" drilled into us"

I work for a large multi-national firm. I've met the President and Chairman and everyone calls him John. (He has 267,000 subordinates!). No one at my company is called Manager X or VP Bill etc (we have plenty of VPs). Everyone is on a first name basis. No one is called Mr X or Ms X. It's John ... Jill etc. 

But we all respect the office! 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Jim wrote:

In reply to Dave who said: "We had a huge amount of "respect for the office" drilled into us"

I work for a large multi-national firm. I've met the President and Chairman and everyone calls him John. (He has 267,000 subordinates!). No one at my company is called Manager X or VP Bill etc (we have plenty of VPs). Everyone is on a first name basis. No one is called Mr X or Ms X. It's John ... Jill etc. 

But we all respect the office! 

OK, but for me, that included titles!

Dave Barnhart

Phil Siefkes's picture

We all know using a title does not prove respect is being shown, nor does using ones first name demonstrate a lack of respect. Heart attitude is the issue, and that simply takes time and integrity over the long haul. We observe this when folks obey Hebrews 13:17 with an attitude of persuadability and yieldability while using the brains God gave them.

Discipling God's image-bearers to the glory of God.

Ed Vasicek's picture

Susan R wrote:

You forgot to include 'dude' in the poll choices. Bleah

 

This is funny, Susan.

 

Jim, as far as titles for Paul, the Church of Minnesota called him "Saint Paul."  Maybe we should add that choice along with "Dude."

"The Midrash Detective"

Ed Vasicek's picture

Jim wrote:

In reply to Dave who said: "We had a huge amount of "respect for the office" drilled into us"

I work for a large multi-national firm. I've met the President and Chairman and everyone calls him John. (He has 267,000 subordinates!). No one at my company is called Manager X or VP Bill etc (we have plenty of VPs). Everyone is on a first name basis. No one is called Mr X or Ms X. It's John ... Jill etc. 

But we all respect the office! 

 

I think this is horribly disrespectful, especially since his name is Frank. Smile

"The Midrash Detective"

Pastork's picture

Folks in my church family, including my fellow-elders, call me "Pastor" or "Pastor Keith," but I prefer that they simply call me Keith, and I have told them this on several occasions. However, they respond by telling me that they prefer to address me as "Pastor" or "Pastor Keith" as a sign of respect for the pastoral office, and they have asked that I please allow this, so I graciously accept this as their desire. But since they are intent on addressing me this way, I try to consistently refer to my fellow-elders as "Pastor George" and "Pastor Dennis" in order to demonstrate for them that, if such a title of respect is shown me, then it should be consistently shown to all the elders.

Ed Vasicek's picture

Pastork wrote:

Folks in my church family, including my fellow-elders, call me "Pastor" or "Pastor Keith," but I prefer that they simply call me Keith, and I have told them this on several occasions. However, they respond by telling me that they prefer to address me as "Pastor" or "Pastor Keith" as a sign of respect for the pastoral office, and they have asked that I please allow this, so I graciously accept this as their desire. But since they are intent on addressing me this way, I try to consistently refer to my fellow-elders as "Pastor George" and "Pastor Dennis" in order to demonstrate for them that, if such a title of respect is shown me, then it should be consistently shown to all the elders.

 

That's a different approach!

"The Midrash Detective"

Alex Guggenheim's picture

I was at a Young, Restless and Deformed congregation recently to, of course, peek in on the latest nonsense. I swore I heard the pastor referred to as The Major Dude (as opposed to the rest of the congregation being just dudes). At little Steely Dan overdose.

Our church refers to the Pastors by their first name but most often with their first name prefaced with Pastor such as Pastor Elvis.

Ron Bean's picture

Our leadership team prefers to be called by our first names and find that it doesn't diminish our position as elders. What concerns me is when a pastor expects to be called "pastor". And don't get me going on the "Doctor" thing.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Pastork's picture

Yes, Ed, it is a bit different from some, but it is in keeping with what I believe is a godly and loving intention on the part of the congregation, and it is also in keeping with the principles of plurality and parity of elder leadership that we think best reflects Scriptural teaching.

 

Ron, I agree that it is usually inappropriate to demand being called by such titles. It strikes me as arrogant.

Ken Woodard's picture

I have noticed that people who have never attended my church but call me "pastor" are usually going to try to take advantage of me.

 

I find "your eminence" to be slightly ostentatious even though appropriate.  "The Right Reverend Bishop", "Apostle, Prophet and Seer", "Leader of Theological Services",  and "Oracle" also seem over the top.

 

Personally, I don't care what you call me as long as it is not "late for supper".

 

Ed Vasicek's picture

Ken Woodard wrote:

I have noticed that people who have never attended my church but call me "pastor" are usually going to try to take advantage of me.

 

I find "your eminence" to be slightly ostentatious even though appropriate.  "The Right Reverend Bishop", "Apostle, Prophet and Seer", "Leader of Theological Services",  and "Oracle" also seem over the top.

 

Personally, I don't care what you call me as long as it is not "late for supper".

 

 

What about High Grand Exalted Mystic Ruler?

"The Midrash Detective"

JRMyers's picture

Is it not unnatural to address your boss by saying: "Good morning, Manager MAlcome X" or "More coffee, Vice President Willy?"  When political figures are addressed and address each other with titles such as chairman, governor, senator, president, etc does it not seem natural?  So, really, depending on the realm of our comparison we could either confirm or nullify calling our pastor by 'pastor' or by 'Bill.'   Thus, is it not un unfair comparison, Jim?  

 

John J Stewart's picture

After having been in about a dozen churches over 47 years, I have heard everything, from Brother Ed, to Pastor Brown.  In each case you can detect either respect or otherwise, so what works in one situation will offend in another.  I think in every church I have attended, everybody thinks they do it right.

Right now I attend a church of about 300 in the middle of South Alabama, about 12 miles from nowhere.  Most of the old-timers have known the pastor since he was born.  His father leads the choir and his brothers are deacons (which is the board here) and Sunday School teachers.  So, everybody calls the pastor by his first name. 

My previous pastor almost required everybody to call him "Pastor."  The way he did it made me wonder if he was requiring respect instead of earning it.  Another church used Pastor with the last name, even if he is 50 years your junior. 

I like the observation here that the Apostle Paul had no such handle, as far as we know.  He was a tentmaker, which suggests to me that he was on par with everybody else, though with a good reputation.  My present pastor just plain has a good reputation.  Squeaky clean, but the most humble person in the church.  Everybody knows him for miles around.  Nothing is more important to him than his ten children, that they walk for the Lord.  He fully exemplifies his office, but we just call him Jay.

John J. Stewart

Joel Tetreau's picture

By far the majority everywhere call me "Pastor Joel." I don't know why that is because I've never made what people call me a big deal - or even a little deal. It might be because I love the shepherding part of the pastor "gig." The second most popular tag would be "Joel." A few call me "Dr. J" (That's a fun one because I used to play basketball). While I am Dr. Tetreau, no one around here calls me that because "Jerry" has been Dr. Tetreau about 20 years before "Joel" was Dr. Tetreau :) 

For the record "Dude" would be OK with me as long as it was preceded with "Pastor" so........"Pastor Dude" would be OK as long as you were older than say.......19.

Happy New Year!

Straight Ahead!

jt

 

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Matthew Eastland's picture

The views of my minister on this have been made very clear to everyone around him for a long time.
He prefers to be called "Brother [first name]" by adults and "Brother [last name]" by children. Of course, since I was born after he had taken the job of minister of the congregation and has been one of my father's best friends for longer than I have been alive, he still writes emails to me as "Brother [last name]." I guess I'll always be a child to him, despite being married for over five years and having a child of my own.

He would point out to you, as he has done with many others, that nowhere in the New Testament will you find a minister being addressed with his office as a title. So, while I call him my "Pastor" for people to know what he does, I wouldn't use that as some form of title.
The only type of title you see used in addressing or referring to someone in the NT is that of "brother," even for one in as exalted a position as an Apostle.

Every year during my time at Bob Jones I had fun going to the information sheet about the church I attended and the minister of that church. Each year the school would have filled in "Rev" before my pastor's name, and every year I would replace it with "Mr."
As he would point out to you, there are only two scripturally correct uses for calling someone "reverend:" that God's name is Holy and Reverend (Ps 111:9), and that since wives are to reverence their husbands (Eph 5:33) it would be appropriate for wives to reference their husbands as "reverend."
The tradition of referring to ministers as "reverend" can really be traced to the Catholic practice of titles given to their priests, starting with "father" (which is directly condemned by Jesus in Mt 23:9), moving on to "Reverend Father" and eventually culminating in the Pope with "Most Holy and Reverend Father."
Finally, my senior year at BJU, after 10 years of correcting from "Rev" to "Mr," finally they got the point and left it the way it should be.