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Difference Between Pastor and Reverend

Difference Between Pastor and Reverend

Pastor Paul Enenche

Pastor vs. Reverend

People often get confused about how to call the leader of their spiritual activities – should it be “pastor,” or should it be “reverend”? Most church community followers often make the mistake of interchanging these two religious titles, as they seem to be synonymous. This is perfectly understandable as these two labels have their similarities. Note, though, that a “pastor” and a “reverend” also have some differences between them.

According to the dictionary, a pastor is defined as a minister or a priest in charge of a church. He may also be a person giving spiritual care to a group of believers. On the other hand, “reverend” refers to a title or an initial for anyone who is a member of the clergy.
Both a pastor and a reverend may be influential to the church. As leaders, they may act as teachers, and they may be given opportunities to deliver Sunday sermons and give studies to children and adults on the different teachings of the Bible.

In addition to this, these leaders are expected to make themselves as presentable as possible as a role model to the community and set examples on how to live a life centered on the teachings of the Bible. They are also responsible for doing deeds intended for the accomplishment and growth of the Church’s views, goals, and principles.

As the chiefs of the spiritual community, they may serve as counselors who give sound advice to their congregants depending on the situation — whether it’s a husband-wife problem or teenage difficulties. Pastors and reverends, at the same time, should be servants and help the needy and disadvantaged through fundraisers or simply with words of encouragement.

The differences between a pastor and a reverend, nonetheless, can be drawn by looking at the function of these labels when they are attached to a certain name.

“Pastor” is addressed to a noun, or specifically a person – the leader or minister of a church. On the other hand, “reverend,” according to the dictionary, is an adjective, addressed to an honorable person who is worthy of being revered. It is used as a title of respect applied or prefixed to the name of a member of a clergy or a religious order.

Difference Between Pastor and Reverend-1

Reverend Kuan Pui LEUNG William

“Pastor” is a function or occupation, while “reverend” is an honorable title. For example, Smith, the minister of the church, can be called “Pastor Smith” if you are referring to his position as the leader of the church, but you can also call him “Reverend Smith” if you are addressing him with respect and honor, the same as “Honorable Smith.” Summing it up, you can call him “Reverend Pastor Smith.”

Even some religious groups wonder why people call their pastors reverends when even the Bible claims that the word “reverend” is used only once:
Psalm 111:9
“He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and reverend is his name.”

But one theory from the church about the use of “reverend” instead of “pastor” originated and was used widely. The word “reverend” mentioned in the Bible refers to the name of God. Thus, to give honor to pastors being one of the persons closest to God, they are called reverends.

However, English grammar disregards the use of the word “reverend” as a stand-alone noun, whether it is singular or plural, though it can be accepted in informal languages.


1.“Pastor” is a noun. A pastor is the minister or priest in charge of a church. He is a person providing spiritual care to a number of people.
2.“Reverend” is an adjective. It is a title prefixed to a member of a religious order. It refers to the characteristics of a clergy.
3.Using “reverend” as a stand-alone noun is improper, though it is accepted in some informal language uses.

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  1. I believe, in general practice, if the person in question is your church’s pastor, you use the title “Pastor”; however, if this same individual takes a call to another church, you then begin referring to that same individual as “Reverend”. Make sense?

    If called to YOUR church: Pastor
    If called to THEIR church: Reverend

    Of course, this is all academic. In practice, the title is whatever is desired by the individual, the setting, and the culture.

  2. We are only suppose to reverence to God Almighty. Not man.

    • If this is true, then we should call NO man Father, because Jesus said not to “Call No Man, Father, for you have ONE Faher, and He is in heaven(Matt 23:9). And, we should be very careful how we use the WORD to debate our theology.

  3. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.-ps 111:9
    Reverend is God only not any man to be revered. If you call any man reverend then we are idolators.

    Pastor is an Elder or shepherd or overseer or bishop of local church. 1 Tim 3:1,2; 1Pet 5:1

    • If you will notice in Psalms 111:9 “…and reverend is his name.,” the word, reverend, is not capitalized so, it is not a name. If they were stating His name is reverend, then it would be capitalized. The word reverend is not capitalized in any of the bibles that use that word. This is just stating that His name, what ever it may be, indicates honor and respect. You are taking the word “reverend” out of context. Now, Keep reading.

      God’s real name was revealed to the only person He thought to be worthy of knowing, that was Abraham. It is stated God’s name is 70 letters long and no one knows what it is or how to pronounce it except Abraham. That is why in Hebrew, there is a shorter version spelled, (since I don’t have a Hebrew alphabet keyboard I will use the name of each Hebrew letter), yud-hey-vav-hey in place of it. Remember only Abraham was allowed to know His real name.

      In the Jewish religion, these letters, which form a word for the name of God, can not be pronounced because the vowels used to pronounce the letters are symbols below the letters only to help pronounce words. However, because one of the letters has two vowels, one below and one above the letter, which is unheard of with the Hebrew language, this name of God can not be pronounced and should not try to be pronounced. This was the purpose of using two vowels with one letter. But in some religions, they pronounce the word as “Yaweh.” But that is incorrect because the one letter has two vowels and they have chosen to ignore that fact. Again, this is what makes it impossible to pronounce.

      The Hebrews, from the time of Abraham, chose to use, Adonai, Elohim, and/or HaShem (which means the name), to represent the pronunciation of the Hebrew letters I mentioned above. Hebrews, known today as Jews, of course, know God by these names when they come across the spelling mentioned above.

      Therefore, God’s name is not reverend in the Psalm 111:9, “… and reverend is his name.” It is actually stating, … holy and honored, and respected is His name. They were using reverend to define his name as one to be honored and respected.

      I looked up this Psalm in The Holy Bible, New King James Version and it is worded, “He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is his name.

      They did not use reverend, instead awesome was used to describe His name. This goes to prove that the word “reverend” as used in the Hebrew bible is defining God’s name as holy, honored, and respected is His name.

      Only Abraham knew his true name and it was not reverend. Will we ever know His name? Perhaps the only way we will know is when we enter His kingdom. As it stands now, His name is, God, Adonai, Elohim, HaShem, El Shaddai, Allah, Khuda, Parvardigar, and many more.

  4. Yeah! I agree. Only one Father and Reverend. Can’t believe hardly no one recognizes the word.

  5. The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. (1Tim5:17)

    • Reverend can’t be used as a designation rather as a recognition
      No one is perfect even the ministesr of God. therefore human kind can’t live upto God standard to be mention as reverend.

  6. Then what name would you have an ordained minister use during a wedding a baptismal or a funeral Ceremony.. And don’t get me wrong I agree with you.. What if where to comment and have knowledge greater Then some in recognizing meanings in The Bible… Should we not give more information and help… Thank you and God-bless

    • I was reading my bible and i read that it is none Reverend but the Father which is in Heaven, but can not remember which book i was reading if anyone find it will you please send it to me. thank you, my email is app123q2@yahoo.com.

  7. It is better to be addressed to God only

  8. To me holy and reverend as in Psalm 111:9 really does not mean its titles or names of the Lord. It means that we have to keep God’s name holy and should give reverence to God’s name. I at all times say “it’s written in the holy Bible” and we give reverence to the word of God. Reverend is just a mere word to show respect, acknowledge and honour some one representing God to us through divine calling to help, minister, counsel, bring God’s message, performing spiritual duties like holy communion, baptism etc to those who are in their care to pastor or assigned to minister to. Similarly the ten commandment teach us to honour our parents.

  9. Pastor and priest are not interchangeable. A real pastor serves at a christian church where a priest serves at a catholic church.

  10. I wanted to no the difference between Pastor and Rev. And where is Rev camping from?

  11. “PASTOR” is an ordained church leader. A clergy.

    “REVEREND” is a senior Pastor in or of the Church.

    So, a Reverend is a Senior Pastor or Clergyman.

    Instead of “REVEREND PASTOR LEWI”,energy is saved by just referring or calling him “REVEREND LEWI”

    Locally, REVEREND position is seen as a promotion. It determines postings, salaries, status in the societal strata.

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