Difference Between Minister and Pastor

A church is a spiritual place for Christians. In the New Testament, a building is never described as a church, it is called an Ecclesia, a Greek word, which means the called-out ones. In other words, the Bible identifies people who are trusting Jesus for salvation as a community, or believers.

In other words, it is a Christian house of worship, where religious activities take place.

A minister and a pastor play an important role in a church, as without them the words of God cannot be, or won’t be passed on the people, the believers. Both the minister and pastor are considered to be the heralds of the world, who lead people in their spiritual way.

They are the preachers, and act as an intermediator, and perform spiritual, or religious activities.

Minister vs Pastor

The main difference between Minister and Pastor is that Minister along with his religious duties, also performs duties of a supervisor, whereas, on the other hand, a Pastor is the oldest person with a spiritual awakening, who has responsibilities as same as the Minister.

Minister vs Pastor


Comparison Table Between Minister and Pastor (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonMinisterPastor
MeaningA Minister is a person who performs religious functions such as teaching.A pastor is the religious head of a single church.
Roles and responsibilitiesThe minister has to maintain the coordination in the church activities such as in administration, teaching, preaching, ministerial sacraments, etc.The pastor has to advise and counsel the members and citizens, preach, teach, sermons, etc.
MarriageThe rule regarding priests, ministers, pastors getting married depends upon the denominations.Like the Minister, the question of marriage depends upon the denomination, or churches like Roman Catholic priests are not allowed to get married.
TitlesA Minister can also be addressed as pastor, father, and reverend.Just like a Minister, a pastor can also be addressed as a father, pastor, or reverend.
Eligibility/ QualificationsA person who aspires to become a Minister must have a sense of calling, and the other qualification depends upon the denominations. Such as some require mandatory attendance in tertiary education.The qualification depends upon the denominations such as some denominations prefer a person with either bachelor’s or master’s degree.


What is Minister?

A minister is a person authorized by a church, or any other religious organization to perform religious activities such as preaching, and teaching the words of God, sacrament services like marriage, holy order, baptism, etc. He is referred to be an ordained priest, and can also perform the duties of a pastor, a priest, a teacher, prophet, healer, bishop (primary clerk), and a variety of other roles.

They are known as the servants of God, and shepherd of the flock of sheep, here sheep refers to the people, the believers, or the community. Minister is a watchman who oversees the people and feeds them the words of God, as expected by the will of God.

Ministers help to

  1. coordinate the working the volunteers and church community
  2. perform marriage rituals
  3. funeral
  4. community services
  5. confirming young people as the members of the church
  6. preach
  7. teach
  8. engage himself in the welfare of the society
  9. pray and encourage others to do the same
  10. to walk on the path of the lord
  11. assist in general services of the church, teach the spiritual
  12. refer people for community welfare
  13. provide leadership to the parish
  14. supervise the prayer
  15. research and study religion
  16. plan and coordinate the church services for public
  17. offer prayers to those who are interested in becoming the members
  18. attain salvation
  19. assist in any administrational service

In other words, they are leaders of the church.


What is Pastor?

A pastor is the oldest person who steps up to perform the duties as a religious head. As described in the Bible, 1 Peter 5, a pastor is the shepherd who leads the flock of sheep and serves as an example or role model to those he serves.

A pastor is expected to teach the things which are related to a sound doctrine, by rightly dividing the word of truth. It is his explicit duty to rightly interpret the word of God.

A pastor is a Bible teacher, as well as, a preacher and most importantly, a theologian. A theologian is a person who is an expert in theology such as Historical theology, Practical theology, Systematic theology, Exegetical theology.

A pastor has to be a real theologian as he is the one responsible for preaching the words of God to the populace. He has a spiritual authority over a group of people.

He advises, and counsels people of the community, he is said to be an ordained priest.


Main Differences Between Minister and Pastor

  1. A minister is not expected to do the duties of a pastor, however, a pastor is expected to be aware of the roles and responsibilities of a minister.
  2. Both, the minister’s and pastor’s question of marriage depends upon the denomination in which they serve.
  3. A minister has a large pool of applicants as youth can also aspire to become a minister in a church, whereas, on the other hand, a pastor is the oldest person who functions as a religious head.
  4. Unlike a pastor, a minister is found commonly in Protestant churches.
  5. A person can be a minister without being a pastor, however, on the contrary, a pastor has to be a minister as well.
Difference Between Minister and Pastor



Both, the minister and pastor lead people towards the spiritual way, they preach, teach, sermons, perform religious activities, ministers the sacraments such as baptism, confirmation, penance, Eucharist, marriage, holy orders, and anointing of the sick, which are divided into three categories namely the sacraments of initiation, sacraments of healing, and lastly, sacraments of service.

There are many qualifications, as well as, the rule depending upon the denominations. They both should belong to the Christian religion, and perform the duties of a religious head.

The only difference between is that of the duties, and qualifications that depend upon the respective denomination.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02212760
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF02063099.pdf
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