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In CRC church order, is the title of "Pastor" reserved only for those who are ordained? (i.e. ministers of the word or commissioned pastors)

Or is it accessible for others to hold that title as well? A worship pastor or youth pastor, for example.


The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. The 23 Psalm has served me well when man failed.  The Lord is the good shepherd and we know one another. John 10. The best Pastor 24/7 through thick and thin and passing this help on to many who asked me. 

Airman Glen


Good question. Unlike the specific titles of "Minister of the Word" and "Commissioned Pastor," I don't know of anything in our church polity that governs who gets called, "Pastor." It seems the titled is applied according to local customs and sensitivities.

During my seminary years I served several congregations as an intern or student pastor. After I was commissioned in a congregation, I was usually called "pastor."

In one of those congregations, there was a widowed woman who loudly and publicly questioned whether the title was appropriate for an intern. In due time, I paid her a visit, heard her story of losing 2 husbands and spending more years as a widow than a married woman. As we grieved together, read a psalm of lament together, and prayed honestly together finding comfort in Jesus' death and resurrection, I was privileged to serve her as a pastor. After that visit, she never failed to call me "pastor," and vigorously corrected anyone who failed to honour me with that title.

Any person can be given the title of "pastor," but the serving people as a pastor is earned. It's a privilege (and responsibility) to bear the title "pastor." It's an even bigger privilege (and responsibility) to be a pastor to God's dearly loved people. Once you're able to serve people at the crossroads of faith and the brokenness of this world, titles are not very important any more.

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