One authorized to conduct the various functions of pastoral work within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As noted in the Seventh-day Adventist Minister’s Manual ( pp. 17–19), a call to the gospel ministry is a uniquely personal call from Christ. The divine call to ministry does not make pastors more important than other members, nor is ministry the only vocation to which people are “called.” The grandest work in the world is the work of service, and God calls every member to some ministry of service. Actually, in most places of the world, local church elders serve as volunteer pastors, working under the general supervision of a salaried district pastor. Without these dedicated lay leaders, many Seventh-day Adventist members would not have immediate access to a spiritual shepherd. ...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.