Part 1: The Scriptures address the pastoral office, not just/only a Senior Pastoral office.
Part 2: The Substantial (historic) teaching of prominent SBC leaders addresses the pastoral office, not just a “Senior” pastor.
Part 3: The Statement of Faith (BF&M 2000) addresses the pastoral office, not just a “Senior” pastor.
Part 4: The Sources (authors) of the BF&M 2000 address the pastoral office, not just a “Senior” pastor.
Part 3: The Statement of Faith (BF&M 2000)
You may have heard it said that the BF&M 2000 only limits the office of “Senior Pastor” to men as qualified by Scripture, but that is not at all true. Here is the third (of four) reason(s) why:
The Statement of Faith (BF&M 2000) addresses the pastoral office, not just/only a Senior Pastoral office.
Article VI says: “Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”
Necessary Qualifications, Not the Quantity (Number) of Officers
Note that the words “scriptural officers” and “pastors and deacons” are all plural. There are two offices, and there may be multiple holders of each office. If it is true that “pastors” means that each church may only have one “Senior” pastor, then the language “deacons” would also demand that each church can only have one deacon. This is obviously not the case.
“The office of pastor” is in the singular to further qualify who may hold this particular office – “only men as qualified by Scripture” (note the plural “men”). The singular use of “office” in the BF&M 2000 update is addressing the necessary qualifications for the office, not the number of office holders.
Some have caused confusion over this issue because of the necessary use of “the” and “a” when talking about the office of pastor (see here). This is the nature when speaking of an office, and does not restrict the number of holders. Originally the SBC had four (4) Vice Presidents, not four offices of Vice President, but one office with four holders specified for it. Neither Scripture nor the BF&M limit the number of office holders for pastor or deacon, while both do speak clearly about the same qualifications (respectively) for every occupant of those two offices.
Absence Does Not Indicate Presence
Finally, nowhere does the word “Senior” appear in BF&M 2000 Article VI. If such an understanding were present, then it would need to be announced in the text of the BF&M 2000 itself. We cannot read into the text an idea, let alone a word, that is not present in the text. The absence of an idea, cannot indicate its presence. What is more, none of the past iterations of the BF&M limited the office of pastor to that of the Sr. Pastor. 1925: “Its Scriptural officers are bishops, or elders, and deacons.” 1963: “Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.”
It is simply not possible to read the BF&M 2000 as asserting that the restriction of “only men as qualified by Scripture” applies only to the “office” of Senior Pastor. Rather, it applies to any occupant of the office, whether called “pastor,” “elder,” or “overseer.”