Sunday, May 26, 2013

Biblical Roles of a Pastor

Overview:           1) Teaching/ Preaching; 2) Maturity/ Character; 3) True Shepherd; 4) Protector from Wolves (False Teachings)

True Shepherd

                Shepherds/role of Shepherding is mentioned it over 200 times in the KJV.  The New Testament mentions shepherds 16 times. Some New Testament references used a shepherd and the sheep to illustrate Christ's relationship to His followers who referred to Him as “our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20 ). Jesus spoke of Himself as “the good shepherd” who knew His sheep and would lay down His life for them (John 10:7-18 ). Jesus commissioned Peter to feed His sheep (John 21:1 ). Paul likened the church and its leaders to a flock with shepherds (Acts 20:28 ). The Latin word transliterated “pastor” means shepherd. (Source: Holman Bible Dictionary)

What the Word Says:

                Hebrews 13:17- Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” 

                Acts 20:28- “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”  The word here for ‘Shepherd” means pastors and the word “Overseers” means bishop.

The Bible upholds great responsibility to a Pastor as being a True Shepherd of the flock to watch over them and guard them because they must give an account before God. 

Five Marks of a True Shepherd (adapted from John MacArthur’s articles

1.       Selflessness: The excellent shepherd isn’t interested in what he can get from his flock, but what he can give them. He’s happy, even eager, to be poured out for the sake of his people. He knows he’s not the focus of the ministry—he’s a vessel for it, as the Lord works through him in the lives of his congregation.

2.       Reverence: He is called to a true reverence for God. The pastor isn’t called to be a CEO, a standup comedian, or a rock star. He’s called to shepherd the people of God, strengthening their knowledge and love for the Lord and encouraging their spiritual growth. The job is to protect and guide, not entertain.

3.       Integrity: Integrity is a nonnegotiable characteristic of a true shepherd of the flock of God. If he is going to lead biblically, he must do so without dishonesty, deception, or duplicity. His character must be consistent, his motivations pure, and his conscience clear. (2 Cor. 4:2)

4.       Faithfulness: It’s a joy and privilege to shepherd God’s people, but it’s also difficult, sometimes discouraging work. Excellent servants of the Lord aren’t hindered, swayed, or overwhelmed by difficult circumstances—they faithfully press on with their focus fixed on their heavenly reward.

5.       Edification: A shepherd’s first priority should be the edification of his people and the spiritual well-being of the lives under his care.  Paul says to the Thessalonian church: “You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.  For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,  encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” ( 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

I    In Christ -Dustin

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