core studies : pastorship

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15


Pastor: literally, a shepherd; the spiritual leader accountable for a Christian congregation.

A pastor has the responsibility to feed the congregation "with knowledge and un derstanding" (Jeremiah 3:15). He is accountable to God for the spiritual state of each person in his congregation and must teach them what they require in order to stand as a holy child of God in the eternal judgment (1 Peter 5:1-7, Ephesians 4:11-16, Acts 20:28). Therefore, each member of the congregation should respect and take heed to the teachings of their pastor.

Everyone needs a pastor (Proverbs 14:12). All baptized people are under the guidance of a pastor (Romans 13:1-7, Hebrews 13:7&16-17). God provides us with pastors so that no one is their own pastor (Jeremiah 3:15, Romans 10:14). The pastor is anointed of God to assist each believer in fulfilling his or her calling. When we fail to recognize God's guidance and he speaks to our hearts, God may direct his pastor to reveal to us what we will not receive from God directly (2 Samuel 12:1-4). If a person goes astray and does not have someone to catch him, he will fall into self-justification and then deception, and will forfeit God's grace (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

The pastor is required to minister to those who start to go astray (backslide) from God's truth [also known as backsliders (Luke 13:6-9, Luke 15:4-7, 1 Timothy 5:20-22, 2 Peter 3:15-18, 1 Thessalonians 3:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-14). Likewise, those who have gone astray are required to accept any Biblical counsel given by the pastor, to be sure that repentance is complete. The pastor is also responsible to correct and even rebuke (firm, open, strong correction) a person when he or she falls into sin. But a pastor doesn't use correction without serious prayerful consideration, for he must be a truthful representation of God's word and judgment (2 Corinthians 10:8-11; 13:10). A pastor doesn't look to do the easy or popular thing, for he answers to God alone for his decisions and actions (Romans 13:4-6, Hebrews 13:17). His job is to guide people to be ready for the final judgment day (2 Corinthians 11:1-6).

There are many that will assist the pastor in his work, and God gives him wisdom to help assign the right people for the job, but he himself answers to God for the overall re sults. For example, though many people will participate in a worship service, the pastor is ultimately the one accountable for the format of that service. Just as the priest in the Old Testament was responsible to see that the ordinances and sacrifices were acceptable to God, so the pastor is responsible to see that the sacrifices of praise and wor ship of the congregation are pleasing to God (Acts 6:3-4, Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Corinthi ans 14:26-32, Acts 15:5-7, Acts 20:28-31, Romans 16:17-19, Ezekiel 3:17-21, 1 Corin thians 14:40).

The true God-called pastor has a job that carries a greater responsibility than a mere position, for he answers to God for the well-being of those in his care--the congre gation. This kind of pastor is what we find in the Bible and in ministries of truth today: men that have a life-long burden to serve the people and give them what they need to be the best possible Christians. Those that are pastors have a great responsibility and deserve to be respected (1 Timothy 5:17-20).

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