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Not Your Average Pastor

Vessels of the True Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Pastoral ministry is not all glitz and glamour. Pastors are charged with the safeguarding and feeding of the flock.

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Trouble in Pastors
I am concerned with the condition of the church today. This is not a surprise as I have made mention of this now for the last two years.
My greatest concern comes in the subject of the pastors and the desecration of that is found in the office of the pastor.
Pastors from the beginning of their office is to serve the church body of believers. We know now the evangelist brings the unsaved into salvation, but, it is the pastor who spends the bulk of their time feeding the congregation and developing them in spiritual formation.
Sadly, there is one thing I have heard time and again. I have at times approached varying pastors on why they do not preach the depth that is found in scripture and hear the same response time and time again:
“You are young and will soon see, you cannot preach this way because you will scare away the people. My job is to bring people into salvation not to scare them away.”
In another such setting I was told:
“You need to stop preaching the way you do. Using words like command and demand are going to scare away the people. It just seems so harsh. Its like you are piercing the soul of the people as you preach.”
Today as I examine the condition of an emaciated church which looks so anorexic floundering being tossed from wave to wave, doctrine to doctrine, I do not blame the people I lay the responsibility squarely on the pastors who refuse to preach the depth that is found in the word of God.
I hold those who are sold to commercializing the church over the proper care and feeding of the body responsible. More over, I charge those who were given the assignment of guarding the flock for selling the flock on to consumerism by failing to build the church in the fullness of Christ.
Pastors are to feed the flock, and to guard them until they are matured in the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11–16 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 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, 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. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Pastor or Shepherd
Everyone wants the title
Shepherd is delegated a specific task
Shepherds are considered the leadership of the church body
The focus is to build up the body of Christ not the exterior the interior
Not Programs
People
Paul’s Pastoral Letters speak to the character of the Pastor and define the big why

Pastors are to feed the flock they are to guard them until they are matured in the fullness of Christ

Feeding the Flock

Israel had themselves abandoned their worship of God.
Lived as captives and gave themselves over to their captors worship of pagan gods
The Lord turned against them
Judah followed suit but are charged with a heavier charge for following in what scripture calls whoring themselves.
Judah sells itself and does the exact thing Israel had been doing.
heavier charge on Judah because of their calling:
They had been charged with worship of God
from them come a lineage of Kings
Jeremiah 3:15–17 ESV
“ ‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.
Multiple promises found
These shepherds are made after God’s own heart
They will feed the flock; not with empty feel good words
Knowledge and understanding
Priests were given the Urim and Thummim (revelation and wisdom)
Most importantly the ark of the covenant will be only symbolic of what is the greater value… The presence of God… This is found when the pastors/shepherds are preaching with knowledge and understanding
Its not the people who were charged the most heavy it was those who were responsible for their development.
Heb 5:4 you did not call yourself, you have been called by God.

How to Feed the Flock

1 Peter 5:1–10 ESV
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Pastor’s Manner

Lead not under compulsion but willingly.
Do not take advantage of the flock
Stands in the Gap for the sheep
Restored, confirmed, strengthened, and establish by God

What Will They Eat

2 Corinthians 4:1–6 ESV
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It is not what I feel like or even what you feel like it is the full gospel the word of God.
The pastor cannot veil the word
The pastor must give the flock all they in order for them to be fed
the word of God is only veiled to the ones whom allow themselves to be veiled

Protecting the Flock

Jeremiah 23:4 ESV
I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
until now the flock has suffered at the hands of an enemy whose ran wild in the church with no one to put a stop to it.
The shepherd will place themselves between the enemy and the flock
In guarding them the flock will no longer be made to fear… they build up the body to stand strong
1 Pet 5:8-9 the devil is seeking to devour one that is unattended
2 Timothy 4:1–8 ESV
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
There is something amazing about Paul saying he is already being poured out as a drink offering…Judah Charged with worship and leading … Pastors you are charged with worship and leading the congregation
The charge in protecting is much like the charge in the feeding… preach the word of God.
Today I charge those of you who have titles as pastors and those of you who today are being drawn into pastoral ministry...
be ready in and out of season… preach the word of God… do not veil the truth… feed the sheep and stand guard over them so that they will not be devoured by satan… stand in the gaps your congregation desperately needs you.
For the congregation you are charged with choosing wisely who you will entrust with your pastoring.
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