Saturday, February 2, 2008

On The Role of the Pastor as Shepherd, Part 2

I see the role of the pastor of a local N.T. church as having two intersecting, complementing facets: Shepherd and Bishop.

As Shepherd, the pastor is responsible for taking his "flock" of church members and leading them from where they are now spiritually toward what God wants them to be and to learn. He must "feed" them spiritually in his preaching, teaching, example, and discipling. He must, as the psalmist beautifully describes, "lead them in the paths of righteousness." And to lead, of course, he must be a mature Christian who demonstrates faith in the Word and its Author.

As Bishop, he must "administrate" the local church. He does need to see that it follows its protocols and by-laws, that the staff of the church performs its assigned functions, and that church services and activities are carried out in proper fashion. He is the one, to paraphrase Harry Truman, with whom the buck stops. But this leadership, while quite necessary, does not exempt him from accountability; he, too, must serve faithfully and righteously.

All of us would do well to learn from this Scripture:

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (1 Peter 2:21-25)
Pastors, you have your example. Encourage and edify us by striving for it—give us an example to follow.

No comments: