Pastor vs Bishop

I get ask quite often what is the difference between pastor, bishop, deacon, etc. To start with, there is no office of pastor in the biblical Church assemblies organization. The two offices are Bishop and deacon. A pastor is any elder who feeds the flock, it is a simile, not a title: no different than teacher or evangelist.

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

1 Peter 5:1-3The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Acts 20:17–28 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church ... 28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The elders are to pastor, shepherd, the Church assembly; to guide, not herd, with meekness and kindness teaching especially the younger members.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

It must be remebered that there is no division of clergy/priest vs. laity, Pastor/sheep, within the biblical Church that is the false doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

Revelation 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Nico—victory, conquer / Laitan—layity, the people Every saint is a member of the royal priesthood of God.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Any man can preach or teach within the Church if he has the desire and wherewithal to do so. However, no one is to set themselves up as rulers over the assemblies, clergy/laity.

1 Peter 5:1-3 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Every organization needs administration, this is the job of the Bishop and deacons. They are to oversee and conduct the business of the Church. It is an office, held by elders, that has several qualifications to be met for the holders thereof.

Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

There are several ways to describe these positions. First, realize that they are not a calling but a desire. That is, you are not called of God to the office but a man desires to take on the responsibility in service to the Church.

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

Many desire the office who are not qualified, many for the wrong reasons.

"...the acquisition of such absolute command over the consciences and understanding of a congregation, however obscure or despised by the world, is more truly grateful to the pride of the human heart, than the possession of the most despotic power, imposed by arms and conquest on a reluctant people".

"History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire", Edward Gibbon,
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion. -- Part VII

3 John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

The Bishop and Deacons are not required to be the preachers and teachers, only that they be apt to teach, that is, if one is around them one is apt to learn something.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

The office of Bishop and Deacon are not paid positions.

1 Peter 5:1-3 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

The Bishop is an elder that meets the qualifications who is the Church manager. His biggest responsibility is to know all of the members and most everything about them to be able to determine who needs help and inform the assembly to get them that help. The Church is free to support a preacher/teacher if there are no elders that can do it and they so desire being large enough to do so, but they are not the administrators of the Churches business. 

There is much more that could be said but I suppose this enough to manifest the general principle I think to be correct and bring the ire of many upon me. Suffice it to say that the administration of a local assembly nor the ministry are career paths. For the younger family oriented man his commandment, his main ministry, witness, is to get a job and care for his family.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

In the later years when those obligations are over is when one can take on the responsibilities of the office of Bishop or Deacon; when you actually know something, have experienced life, and are prepared to counsel and guide the younger.