This may shock you to discover- “Reverend” is not a term or title that refers to preachers. The word “reverend” is only used one time in the Bible (KJV). Psalm 111:9 says, “He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained HIs covenant forever; Holy and reverend is His name”.
Now if you want to call yourself “Reverend” you should at least qualify for the position. If you are “reverend” then according to the text you should have at least two things on your resume’. Number one, you should have the power to redeem people. Number two, you should have the power to establish a covenant with people that will last forever. Does any pastor or preacher qualify?
God says, “Holy and Reverend is my name”! So why do we call preachers “reverend”? More than likely it is a tradition shaped out of a good intention. People wanted to show respect to the preacher so they began to use the “reverend” like the culture uses the term “honorable” for civic and judicial leaders. We should show respect to those in ministry and spiritual leadership. The title “reverend” is still, nonetheless not a biblical title for those in ministry or leadership.
I do not seek to be sensational or controversial. I make this case because some of the cultures and churches I preach in use the term “reverend” while at the same time shying away from terms like “minister”, “elder” or “bishop” which are all New Testament titles for those in ministry (see I Timothy 3, Titus 1). In fact, I was told by a “reverend” that I should not allow people to call me “bishop”.
There are some churches that will categorically not acknowledge the terms “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). They will however have “reverends” in their pulpits. They would rather fight than switch. It is mind-boggling how traditions that have no root in Scripture can garnish such commitment from churched people.
You can call yourself or your preacher “Reverend” if you want to. I am not going to go around telling people what to call themselves or others. The question is “Who is the real Reverend?” The “Reverend” is The One who redeemed me by the blood of His Son and with that same blood He shed on Calvary has secured for me a covenant that will last forever.
You can call me “Elder”. You can call me “Preacher”. You can call me “Pastor”. You can call me “Bishop”. You can call me “Brother”. You can call me “Servant”. You can call me “Sean”. Please don’t call me “reverend”.