Ministrty of the Pastor

March 19, 2020

The Responsibility of the Pastor

By Russell George

If God has called you to be the pastor of a church you need to understand what God expects of you. You aren’t called to be the C.E.O. of the church. If you think you are, you are badly mistaken. C.E.O. stands for chief executive officer. The C. E. O. is the one who makes the decisions. All the rest are expected to submit to his or her authority. God gave clear instructions to Peter regarding that which is expected of the elders. After Jesus resurrection he met with seven of his disciples at the sea of Galilee. Peter was among them. We read about it in John chapter 21. In verses 15 and 16 he commanded Peter twice to feed his sheep. Peter never forgot that command. When he wrote his first epistle, in chapter 5:1-4 he wrote these words. The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

God expects that you will invest your life in the lives of the people in your church. When you arrive as the pastor of the church you start with the people in the church. Then, as people are led to Christ through the ministry of the church, you will start investing in their lives also. It’s a never ending ministry. New believers need discipleship classes.

That doesn’t mean that you start telling people what thy can and can’t do. You nourish them by feeding them with the truths of God’s Word. They gain spiritual strength so they can make their own decisions based on the truths of God’s Word. They don’t become your followers. Your goal needs to be that they be followers of God. They learn from you and from your example. You can’t expect that your people will follow God closer than you do. That demands that you keep growing in your relationship with God.

There are two primary ways that a pastor feeds his sheep. First of all, it is by preaching. You will need to seek God’s leading as to what the needs of your people are. God may help you see that your people are weak in a certain area. It may be in their prayer life. It may be in their knowledge of the Bible. Pray that God will guide you to the portion of the Bible that you should preach from. Preach in such a way that your people can’t help but see that the burden of your heart is that they have a clear understanding of God’s Word and that they apply it to their lives. You need to know how to clarify God’s Word, explain it, and teach them how to apply it to their lives. It needs to influence the way they think and make decisions. They need to love it and live it.

A second way in which you need to invest your life in the life of your people is to schedule a time, every six weeks or two months, to go and visit them in their homes. Talk to them and find a time when it will work in their schedule and yours when you can spend at least an hour with them in their home. If some have special needs they may need more of your time. If it’s a family, it’s ideal if your wife can go with you. When there are small children in your home it’s not always easy for your wife to do that. If you go to visit a single woman it’s imperative that your wife go with you.

This is a time when you get to know them personally. Give attention to their children. Learn their names and find out where they are in school. Then give your attention to the man and his wife. Tell them that you want to pray for them. Find out what their burdens are. Ask about their parents and other relatives.

If you know where they are falling down in their Christian life don’t rebuke them for it. Tell them that you are praying that they will do better in that area. Close with prayer for them. It is a thrill for them to hear their pastor pray for their specific needs. Let them hear you thank the Lord for them and tell the Lord how glad you are for them and that you are glad that they are a part of your church family and that you can be their pastor.

These visits give you an opportunity to have a one on one relationship with your people. It greatly increases their love and respect for you. If you make an effort to bond with your people you won’t have reason to fear that some other church will steal some of your sheep. They will feel free to come to you when they have burdens they need to share with someone. Keep in mind that they may tell you things that should be kept confidential.

Strong people make for a strong church. Your flock needs to be fed and you are the one who is called to do that. Be careful that you don’t show favors to some in your flock while you neglect others. Even the older and more mature believers need your special attention. Are any sick in your flock? They need for you to go by and pray for them, especially if they are in the hospital. Your people need to know that you love them and that you care when they are hurting.

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