When people look for justification for the modern concept of the “senior pastor”, they often turn to the first few chapters of Revelation, where Jesus addresses seven letters to the “angel” of seven different churches in Asia. The question is, “Do the ‘angels’ in Revelation 2-3 represent senior pastors or spiritual messengers?”
Now, Alan Bandy of CafÃ© Apocalypsis has addressed this question in his post “The Angels of the Seven Churches: Humans or Spiritual Beings?” Alan concludes that these “angels” are spiritual beings and gives 4 different reasons. This is the most convincing reason to me:
(1) One reason is that the most common use of angelos, by far, denotes an angelic being. The sixty seven occurrences of angelos in the book of Revelation, with the exception of 2:1,8,12, 18; 3:1,7, and 14, all unambiguously refer to an angelic being. It seems highly unlikely that angelos significantly differs only in chaps. 2â€“3 without clearly indicating a different denotation from its normal usage in the book.
If the “angels” of Revelation 2-3 are spiritual beings and not senior pastors, then where will people look for scriptural justification for the modern position of senior pastor?