Thursday, January 24, 2008

Biblical Absolutes for Pastors

In preparation for the Pastoral Expectations Survey I have been attempting to teach the congregation to distinguish between the cultural and biblical expectations of pastors. In this post I will share some of that teaching:

1) Someone serving as a pastor should have his/her heart set on the position. – 1 Timothy 3:1

They must have a God given aspiration and passion to be a pastor. Sense of “call” from God. They need a sense of divine compulsion – “I must”. God gives an intensity and motive. This calling will be displayed through hard work and a grateful spirit.

2) He/she must meet the qualifications for the position. – 1 Timothy 3:2-7

The “fruit of the Spirit” should be evident in the walk and witness of a pastor. They are driven by the desire to NEVER bring reproach upon the name of their Lord. Their conduct flows out of their character.

3) He/she must serve as an overseer of the church like a shepherd oversees a flock of sheep. - Acts 20:28

As an overseer the pastor is responsible to:

a) Protect the flock and to guard the truth from perversion and error which would cause the people to fall away or drift into apostasy (gatekeeper of sound doctrine). - Acts 20:28-31 / Titus 1:9 / Hebrews 13:17

b) Feed the flock (an obvious reference to biblical preaching and teaching). - 1 Peter 5:1-2 (John 21:17)

c) Set an example to the flock. Sheep are followers. Pastors say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”- 1 Peter 5:3

d) Direct, manage and guide the affairs of the flock (administration and organization). - 1 Timothy 3:4-5, 5:17

e) Equip the flock to do the work of the ministry.- Ephesians 4:11-12

f) Pray for a spiritual covering to be over the flock. - Acts 6:1-4 (Also, Paul’s many prayers for the churches of the New Testament) / James 5:14

I have challenged the congregation not to ask themselves:

What kind of pastor do we want? – Or – What kind of pastor do I need?

Rather ask: What kind of pastor do we need? This question can be expanded to ask:

What kind of pastor do we need to help us be the kind of church that can reach our kind of world?

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