We wanted to take this opportunity to respond to some great questions from members of our church body surrounding postiion titles on our staff.  If you look at our staff directory, you’ll see some are given the title “Pastor” and others “Directors.”  Further, there are instances in which a ministry was once cared for by a Director and is now cared for by a Pastor (for example, Small Groups), and vice versa (for example, Student Ministries).  Hopefully, these guidelines will provide some clarity between those two roles.

Hiring Process

Our church bylaws state the hiring of Pastors is finalized by congregational approval by vote at a Business Meeting, while the hiring of Directors and other staff positions don’t require a vote.  Both processes are carried out with prayer, thought, deliberation, and input from the church body as we desire examine the competency and character to fill key roles within our church, but only Pastors require a congregational vote in order for the hiring to be finalized.

Distinguishing Characteristics between Pastors and Directors of Grace Fellowship Church

As you’ll see below, the difference in title doesn’t reflect differences in Christian character qualifications, but differences in function and role expectations.


  • Pastor is a biblical term designating role, responsibility, and title within Christ’s church (Ephesians 4:11–13).
  • Typically, a Pastor will have overall shepherding and equipping responsibilities throughout our congregation, as well as with staff members.
  • Typically, a Pastor will be an ordained minister of the gospel.  Since GFC is an Evangelical Free Church, ordination is a cooperative acknowledgement between our local church, GFC, and EFCA.
  • Pastors will be men (1 Timothy 2:12).
  • Typically, a Pastor will have a Master’s Degree in ministry training or have significant ministry experience.
  • Pastors are authorized to perform ecclesiastical duties (e.g., weddings and funerals).


  • A Director is responsible for specific tasks of a specialized ministry of GFC (e.g., children’s ministry, youth ministry).
  • A Director will be under the care of a Pastor.
  • In Boone County, Directors may perform ecclesiastical duties (e.g., weddings and funerals).

Change of Title from Director to Pastor

  • This change will usually be a reflection of an expanded role of shepherding within GFC.
  • As one moves from being a Director to a Pastor, this is to be endorsed by the Elders and the Congregation as per the spirit of the bylaws of GFC.

Hope this is helpful.  Got questions?  Drop us a note to EldersEars[at]graceky[dot]org.  We’d love to chat.

Serving you in Christ,

GFC Elders

Brad Bigney
Brian Fannin
Bob Greenwood
Peter LaRuffa
Rob Lohrmann
Ken Long
Mark McFadden
Roger Patterson
JD Rogers