According to the dictionary, a pastor, a minister (of religion) or priest is someone who is in charge of a Christian church (see also definition of church) or congregation. The name pastor comes from the Latin verb “Pascere” – to set to grazing, lead to pasture, cause to eat, and is also known as a shepherd. Traditionally, one of the core duties of a pastor is to lead worship services, and it is usually expected that they are to feed the church of God with knowledge, to provide discipleship and to teach the people how to live like Christ. In practise, often the pastor is requested to fill or lead all functions that the congregation sees fit and will not fill themselves.
To be a pastor, or shepherd, in regards to feeding and guiding the flock, there seems to be the misunderstanding that everything needs to be done in a concept of being compassionate, understanding and total support for the flock. However, this concept does not leave any room for correction or challenge as this misplaced compassion is only reinforcing the wrong understanding of our relationship/oneness in God, and this type of pastoring can be considered as being the wrong way around with the pastor following the flock instead of leading them. For a shepherd to really lead their flock (congregation), they themselves need an assortment of the varieties of gifts (1Cor12:4ff), such as words of wisdom, and knowledge, and the distinguishing of spirits. The other gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, tongues and their interpretation are also welcome but are not essential to be a shepherd or pastor as there should be others within the flock who have these giftings that can be delegated under supervision by the pastor. An original Old Testament shepherd leads the sheep and they follow. This puts a great responsibility upon the shepherd to lead in the right way by the one Holy Spirit. In this sense, a pastor should be more of an encouraging manager/parent rather than a worker.