A pastor emeritus is a retired pastor who has been given the title of “emeritus” by his or her congregation. The term can also be used by those who have not yet retired, but are expected to do so in the near future. The word “emeritus” is Latin for “retired.”
Pastors who become pastors emeritus usually do so after having served as a pastor for many years. They may have retired because of health problems, or because they feel that it’s time to pass on their legacy and let someone else step up to lead the church.
There have been many manifestations of open hostility toward God’s Word throughout history. This, however, begs the question: how? Jude gives us a hint in his letter:
Because among you are some whose fates were sealed in stone long ago. To paraphrase Jude: “They are ungodly people, who change the grace of our God into an occasion for immorality, and who put Jesus Christ to open shame” (Jude 1:4).
Bad people were able to enter the church and propagate their heretical ideas because of the church’s limited finances. God’s people need a plan that includes consistent, in-depth study of the Bible to safeguard themselves from the perils of false teaching.
What is a Pastor Emeritus?
Emeritus is an honorary title bestowed upon one who has retired from a position (pastor, professor, or other professional position) as a way of honoring the individual’s service. Emeritus comes from the Latin word emereri, which means to earn one’s discharge by service. Bestowing the title “Pastor Emeritus” upon a retiring pastor is a way for the church leadership to honor his service to the church.
Depending upon the particular church, the title may have some duties such as serving in an advisory role to the leadership group or to the current pastor. It can also involve a teaching role, depending on the retired pastor’s desire to continue to serve. Benefits for the position, at least as far as monetary compensation, are up to the particular church or denomination. There are no biblically set guidelines other than those of the by-laws of the organization or church conferring the honor. It is, however, right and fitting that a church or congregation recognize the faithful service of those who shepherd and serve them with honor and integrity. Bestowing the title of Pastor Emeritus is one way to demonstrate respect and gratitude for pastoral service.