Thursday, March 29, 2012

Part of a Pastors Job

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." 
Matthew 7:15

In the Gospel of John Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd.(John 10:11) The writer of Hebrews calls Jesus the "Great Shepherd" of the sheep.(Heb.13:20) God's Word refers to the church as a flock. The bible says that all we like sheep have gone astray. Jesus loves the flock for He lays down His life for the sheep. He pursues the one who has gone astray. He has a rod and staff that are a comfort, because it shows that He cares.There was a great concern that Jesus had for His flock. The bible refers to Pastors as shepherds. Paul told the Ephesian elders to take heed to the flock, because Jesus purchased the flock with His own blood.(Acts20:28) Peter exhorted the elders to shepherd the flock of God serving as overseers.(1Peter5:2)

The role of shepherd consists of feeding the sheep. You may recall that Jesus exhorted Peter to feed the sheep. The best diet for the sheep is the Word of God. For the Word of God alone will strengthen, encourage, and nourish the souls of God's people. The flock becomes healthy when they are well fed. In addition to feeding the flock, the pastor is to care for the flock. Seek to minister to the needs of the people. Serve them. Be there to pray for them. Take time to listen to them. Yet the shepherd has another role that is equally important to the others. He is to seek to protect the flock. By protect I am not suggesting Lording over the sheep in some unbiblical manner like a "shepherding movement." I am referring to taking heed to the warnings in scripture. Jesus gives a warning to His disciples about wolves in sheep clothing. Outwardly they look like sheep, or even shepherds for that matter, but inwardly they are wolves. They want to fleece the flock. 

The apostles dealt with this in their ministry from time to time, and even went on record as mentioning names specifically. The apostle John spoke of Diotrephes loving the preeminence. Paul wrote in many of his epistles concerning the dangers within the early church that came in the form of certain persons peddling their doctrines. When it was necessary to warn the flock, they did. 

In the day of political correctness, sometimes we tread very softly. Perhaps even too softly. We are careful not to be offensive. We never want to appear as unloving. I do believe this is important because the bible exhorts servants of the Lord not to strive or quarrel but be gentle able to teach with patience and long-suffering.(2Tim.2:24)  At the same time, I do believe there are occasions where we need to warn the flock. And by that, I am not saying that a pastor get up to the pulpit week after week and share whats wrong with everyone except himself. We would spend our time far better if we told people what we were for, and not just what we are against. At the same time, we are living in a day and age where shepherds are going to be called upon to warn the flock of God. In so doing you won't always be the most popular guy in your town. You may be painted in a particular light that is not accurate. You may not be invited to the convention. But your a shepherd, this is a part of your job. Lovingly, truthfully, boldly, do your best to love the sheep. Feed the sheep, care for the sheep, and at times when necessary do not be afraid to warn the sheep of impending dangers.