What is the Difference Between Bishop and Pastor?

Everybody has a different manner of believing in a divine creator, and these beliefs are usually referred to as religious. The religion founded on the teachings of Jesus is called Christianity.

The church where people go to pray is typically run by various people who carry out the functions of a church. The people who run the functions of churches are known as bishops and pastors. 

The difference between bishop and pastor is that bishops have different obligations than pastors because they oversee both the church and the people who are subject to its rules. While pastors only care about the church.

Let us learn the primary difference between bishop and pastor below:

Who is a Pastor?

A pastor is a shepherd who provides for his flock, his church, or his followers. A career as a pastor is not a job. Pastor is a guy who accepted God’s call to serve Him by becoming a pastor.

He takes care of the churchgoers by teaching and preaching from the Bible. He visits the congregation and offers prayers for those ill at home or in the hospital.

He offers advice and consolation to the grieving and suffering. He is a man who provides without considering the cost and serves without seeking compensation. He values each member of his flock equally and regularly prays for them.

He cares for them much like his own kids. As a pastor, he wants to assist his flock in maturing into followers of Christ. He never uses financial gain to drive his ministry. He never charges for his services.

Who is a Bishop?

A priest who is in charge of a certain district is known as a bishop. In terms of church leadership, he is on par with parish priests.

He holds authority over the priests and bishops from various districts within a specific territory and is the next level down from an Archbishop.

Bishops give pieces of advice to a large number of people while keeping such chats to themselves. A bishop is the head of a diocese in the Catholic Church, a collection of parishes.

Moreover, he is the sole celebrant of the confirmation sacrament in the entire diocese. By placing his hand on each child’s head, he allows his supernatural power to enter the child’s brain, endearing the child to the church and its doctrines.

He possesses the “fullness of holy orders,” as opposed to deacons and presbyters, who each possess a portion but not the fullness of the orders.

Difference Between Bishop and Pastor

The main difference between bishop and pastor are below:

1. Origin

The primary difference between bishop and pastor is that the origins of both the terms vary. Pastor has a Latin origin and it derives from the noun “pascere”, while the word “bishop” is derived from the Greek word “episkosos.”

2. Word Usage

Another difference between bishop and pastor is that the word “bishop” was initially applied to highly respected or highly educated people but eventually came to refer to individuals who assumed responsibility for church activities. 

As opposed to this, the word “pastor” was always used to refer to those who shared God’s message with the public and were commonly known as God’s shepherd.

3. Responsibilities

The difference between bishop and pastor in terms of their responsibilities is that bishops are responsible for a wide range of duties, including overseeing the congregation, the priests, the members of the church, and the congregation’s geographical area. 

On the other hand, the sole responsibility of the pastors is to take care of the church.

4. Gender

The comparison between bishop vs. pastor in terms of gender is that pastors can be of any gender. However, bishops are often expected to be men.

Depending on the desires of the church, the pastor may be either a man or a woman.

5. Leadership

Another comparison between bishop vs. pastor in terms of leadership is that pastors are the dedicated and ordained leaders of the Christian clergy. In contrast, bishops are the leaders of the Christian congregation. They have several responsibilities.

Pastor Vs. Bishop

The simple comparison between pastor vs. bishop is below:

There are pastors in every faith, even if they don’t use the word as a title, but there aren’t always bishops. The head minister of a church is known by the title “pastor.”

Then we group a number of Churches into what is known as a diocese, which is managed and directed by a Bishop in the churches.

The Synod, a council made up of bishops, has a presiding bishop. Depending on the council’s size and age, the presiding bishop’s title varies.

Any priest in the diocese may get discipline from a bishop as well. In most cases, a diocese or eparchy, divided into deaneries and parishes, is led by a bishop who serves as its pastor.

Bishop vs. Pastor: Education

A bishop may have far more education than a pastor, but that does not necessarily make him more important in God’s eyes.

Instead of how educated they are or what position they have gained in this world, God judges each of them according to how much they believe and trust in Him.

God is more concerned with what those two men have accomplished with His Son, Jesus than with everything else they have performed on earth.

What is the Difference Between Bishop and Pastor?

Highlighting the main difference between bishop and pastor in the following table:

The term “bishop” was originally used only for individuals with great educational or social status.The term “pastor” was continuously used to relate to those who were God’s shepherds and messengers.
They also have other duties, along with looking after the congregation.They only look after the congregation.
They can only be men.They can be either a man or a woman, depending on the church and their desire.
They also have obligations in other churches, such as the Catholic church and others, in addition to the Christian church.The Christian church is their only connection.


The difference between bishop and pastor is that bishops often supervise a Diocese (a collection of churches) and can perform all the ceremonies. On the other hand, the position of lead minister for a church or congregation is known as a pastor.

Learn more: What is the Difference Between Preform and Perform?

Was this article helpful?