About the author


Jeremy Crooks

Jeremy grew up in Sydney Australia. He has tertiary qualifications in business, training, and Bible. With experience in both church ministry and corporate human resources, Jeremy has a strong interest in how faith is demonstrated in our homes and workplaces. You can contact Jeremy at


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    Jeremy, you’re at a station of life in which relationship issues are of higher value to you than, say, agreement in doctrine and the need to keep watch over the faith by contending for it (Jude 3). To be closed to a possible correction of our thinking is just as myopic as to be closed to a correction in our relationships.

    But you saw a place for larger churches in this post, and I think that the place you saw was possibly for just something like that. There is a place for a few-to-many structure, in just this area — teaching (1 Cor 14:29)! And, I think we see there too, that it is not one-to-many, which can be abused, as you pointed out in the names of the new denominations by spoof, and it is not uncritical. We do not do well to uncritically accept our teachers, we do them a disservice. We need to “pass judgment” on them, as the verse says! In other words, see if they’re right!

  2. avatar

    Jeremy Crooks

    Larry, I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say.

    1. I do believe doctrine is important. The focus of this post is the mega-church format, not a set of doctrinal beliefs.
    2. Yes, there is a place for larger churches, but they should not be at the expense of relationships or be created by cannibalising small congregations.

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    Jeremy, you wrote:

    “I find it hard to see how mega-church ‘pastors’ can even retain the title of pastor, when they maintain personal relationships with paid staff rather than members of their congregation. That is not to say they don’t have a valid role. It is just that they are in reality CEOs of organisations that direct functional program managers and cell group leaders. The cell group leaders are probably the ones who should hold the title of pastor.”

    I have a couple of questions.

    1. Should we view ‘Pastorship’ as a role/responsibility or a position with a title?

    2. As you’ve pointed out, cell leaders often assume pastoral responsibility without having a ‘title’ of Pastor.

    Is it accurate to say that today’s notion of a Pastor is a position of authority rather than a person who comes alongside another in the form of a bondslave, to lead one in the right and narrow way?

    or as you suggest, is the Pastor just a glorified CEO who knows not his sheep?

    I fear many of us are guilty of worshiping a Pastor in place of the One True Pastor.


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    I do believe that now-a-days “Pastor” has become more title than role, but I think that it wrong and I think if Jesus walked amongst us as a human again, he would say similar words to us as he said to the Pharasees in Matt 23 (vs 7-10).

    The role of pastor is the role of a shepherd. In Acts 20:28-28, the leaders are told to keep watch over themselves and all the flock that they have been made overseers of. I definately think God meant more than just “look at them from the pulpit each Sunday”. If someone who has been put in charge of a church does all the preaching and leaves others to deal with the flock, then maybe they need to admit that their role in the body is preaching and not pastoring.

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    Jeremy Crooks

    Elizabeth, I agree with your sentiments. To answer your questions.

    1. Should we view ‘Pastorship’ as a role/responsibility or a position with a title?

    I believe the title should match the function that is performed. It should not be reserved as a senior status symbol. If you provide pastoral care, then you are a pastor. If you provide oversight of a significant group of people (e.g a mega-church), then you are a ‘bishop’. If you spend most of your time being a Sunday or conference figure-head for a movement/message, then you are probably an evangelist. Those are all biblical terms.

    2. As you’ve pointed out, cell leaders often assume pastoral responsibility without having a ‘title’ of Pastor.

    This is evidence of insecure leadership and empire building. Leaders who assign pastoral responsibility without authority set others up for failure. The result is they will have trouble keeping quality staff and volunteers.

  6. avatar

    Jeremy Crooks


    You raise a good point comparing pastoring to shepherding.

    In John 10:14, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”.

    Once a church leader no longer knows the names of his church members, how can he be their shepherd? A shepherd needs to be close enough to his flock that he notices and takes personal action when 1 of the 100 goes missing.

    At least, that is how I see it.


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