General Theology

What are pastors and what do they do? What is the calling of a pastor?

Church leaders lead God’s Flock. Every believer is a priest with full access to God (1 Peter 2:9). Elders, however, help mature the faith (Acts 20:17), are overseers (1 Timothy 3:1-2; Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7), and they are called to pastor (shepherd)(Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:1-4), have leadership to the flock (1 Thessalonians 5:12), and should be qualified as elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).

Pastoring involves being a Godly example (Hebrews 13:7) and they should confront sin and false doctrine. Those who pastor, are to be conscious of how they teach (1 Timothy 4:16; Acts 20:28) and be of good conscience before God and others (Acts 24:16; 1 Timothy 1:5). Those who pastor are to be a man of faith and prayer (Hebrews 11), and be able to be vigilant to guard the flock like a shepherd herds his flock against wolves (Ezekiel 34; Galatians 6:1-2). Such good men of God should teach God’s Word without wavering and submit to other leaders as team members (1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Ephesians 5:21). Those who pastor are to model Christlike love (1 John 4:19). Therefore, “pastor” is not a title or office; it is a gift actually (Ephesians 4:11).

People in the Church are subject to discipline by Elders as we read in Matthew 18. Only 2-3 people can admit a charge against an elder, and it is not good to attempt to lead a charge against God’s Called alone (1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). Ordination is church recognition/confirmation of being an elder, deacon, or minister (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 4:14; 5:22; 2 Timothy 1:6). The calling of pastoring is like a burning fire in my bones (Jeremiah 20:9), and makes you feel like you cannot anything else. We must preach (1 Corinthians 9:16; 1 Timothy 1:12). It is not bad to have work for money, because it can be separate from the work for Christ – therefore, while the Gospel can be free, the pastor can be paid for his labors and business work that is required for the “back end” of the Church to function.

Those who pastor seek the higher calling (which is what those who are truly called do best at pastoring). Therefore, do what you are called to do (not just you who feel you are called to pastor, but do anything you are called to do) – avail yourself from “slave work” and be sure to seek “purpose work” (1 Corinthians 7:20-21).

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