Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Pastor/Teacher

11 "And he gave … the shepherds and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes."
(Eph 4:11-14 ESV)

In other bible translations (KJV, NKJV, NAS, etc) the phrase “the shepherds and teachers” is translated “pastors and teachers.” The Greek word ποιμένας (Eph 4:11 BGT) doesn’t look familiar to us. But when you look at the Latin Vulgate, you will find a word that does look familiar: pastores (Eph 4:11 VUL). It is an easy step into the English language to find the plural noun – pastors.

So, why have we taken the time to give this little lesson in word origins? It’s simple. Without the clear understanding that a “Pastor” is really to be a “Shepherd,” then God’s people will not clearly understand what to expect from their Pastor. Stay with the above text and you will see how the meaning helps you understand what a Pastor does.
1. Instead of being the janitor, the church-greeter, the hospital visitor, and the driver to youth camp, the Pastor is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.”
2. Instead of building up his own power base, to secure his own ministry, and to guarantee good financial packages, a Pastor is to be “building up the body of Christ.”
3. A Pastor is to be focused on growing God’s children into strong people of faith, knowledgeable in the Word of God to the point of reflecting Christ Jesus in every aspect of their lives.
4. A successful Pastor is one who has fed God’s people on the whole counsel of God; their lives will not easily be swayed by false teachings or crafty schemes that continually come down the denominational turnpike. The Pastor will have trained God’s people to test everything by the Word of God – to be good “Berean Christians” (Acts 17:10-11).

To understand what Pastor really means is to fully appreciate what Jesus was saying to Peter in John’s Gospel:

15 “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
16 He said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.”
(Joh 21:15-17 ESV)

Knowing that Pastor means Shepherd, it now makes sense why Jesus would say to Peter
1. in verse 15 – “feed my lambs.”
2. in verse 16 – lit. “Shepherd my sheep.”
3. in verse 17 – “Feed my sheep.”

Along with prayer (Acts 6:4), there is no greater task of the Pastor than to “shepherd” God’s sheep, by feeding them the whole counsel of God – The Holy Scriptures!

To fail in feeding God’s people, is to fail as a Pastor/Teacher.

1 comment:

ILoveGodSite.Com said...

Thanks. I enjoyed the part where you said "To fail in feeding God’s people, is to fail as a Pastor/Teacher" This is really the Word of God for the season.