- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 18:38
The answer is no and yes. The five men listed in Acts 13:1 not only taught the assembly, but also guided it in sending out Barnabas and Saul. They functioned as overseers. Barnabas and Saul were separated from them for the work to which the Spirit called them (verse 2). The Spirit who gave Barnabas and Saul their work had likewise given these their work of feeding the flock (Acts 20:28). In an established assembly, such as Antioch, the evangelist is distinct from the pastor-teacher (Ephesians 4:11). The sphere of responsibility for each is different. Timothy and Titus provide an instructive contrast. Timothy was working in an established assembly, Ephesus. He employed the Word of God so as to correct existing problems, perhaps even including wrongs among those taking the place of overseers. He taught side by side with others, but there is no hint of his being an overseer. Titus worked among fledgling assemblies without recognized elders (Titus 1:4-9). He guided these assemblies in recognizing the elders that God had raised up. In that sense, he served like an elder and had direct input into the care of the assembly. This was a temporary responsibility until the assemblies were consolidated from within. Thus a man who sees an assembly work begin is responsible to guide the new assembly until the Spirit clearly identifies the shepherds He has raised up. When these men are able to function on their own, a Titus assumes the same role as a Timothy in Ephesus.