What’s the difference between a pastor, priest or preacher?
The word pastor, as you might guess, is related to the words “pastoral” and “pasture.” As a title for a Christian leader, it simply means someone who shepherds or guides a congregation, providing for their spiritual nurture. In this wider sense, anyone who serves as the leader of a congregation can be called a pastor. Moreover, The word priest has its origins in the Greek word presbyteros and the Latin word presbyter. It essentially means elder. It is typically used to describe a pastor or minister who serves in the Catholic or Greek Orthodox traditions.
@kianna: ■ A pastor is the head priest of a specific church. He is responsible for the well-being of his flocks, like visits them when they are sick or in prison, counsels them when they are in trouble or have problems.
■ A priest is the leader of an entire area with many churches in it, which is called a diocese. He helps to develop policies and make decisions about what the community should do and do not do.
■ A preacher or minister is anyone who delivers sermons teaching about the Bible or Christianity, whether they’re actually a priest or not.
A pastor is a decriptive term for the office of the overseer or bishop as we can see in I Timothy 3:1-ff
1Ti 3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
1Ti 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
A person in this office is called pastor one of the main responsibilities of this office is to take care of the flock, just like how a shepherd or a pastor takes care of his flock.
Act 20:28 Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood.
A priest on the otherhand is a position in the Law of Moses. They conduct religious activities such as offering burn’t sacrifice to God.
In the law of Moses,only those who came from the tribe of Levi can become a priest. However, in the New Testament, in the Christian age, everyone is considered to be a priest because all Christians can and are expected to offer sacrifices to God.
1Peter 2:5 ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
What then is that spiritual sacrifice that is acceptable to God?
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
A preacher on the otherhand is not a position unlike pastor or priest. A preacher is someone who preaches or teaches the word of God.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Peter called Noah a preacher of righteousness because he preached about the flood and calls for people to repent.
2Peter 2:5 and spared not the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
Hi! Thank you guys for your responses! Sometimes, I have a hard time distinguishing a pastor and a preacher, but thanks to you guys it is all clear now! God bless you all and I hope everyone is safe!