Pastor’s Page

We are pleased to announce the publication of God’s Man: A Pastor’s Handbook.

GM Front Cover - 15 Oct 2019

 

A pastor is also to be a theologian, as theology is the study of God as well as the application of His Word to all areas of life. This is essentially the purpose for this pastor’s handbook, to provide a simple resource to encapsulate the most important truths of our common salvation, to equip pastors for the work of ministering the Word. For assuredly, what the Church most desperately needs to recover is sound biblical teaching and preaching that is deliberately Trinitarian, highly Christocentric, and urgently evangelistic. It is my prayer that this book represents a prescription for the Church’s present need.

God’s Man: A Pastor’s Handbook

Welcome to the Pastor’s Page. 

    A pastor is an under shepherd of Jesus Christ. The word “pastor,” in the Greek is ποιμήν poimen, means shepherd. In Latin the word is pastor. A pastor is a man whom the Lord raises up to care for the total well-being of His flock (the people of God). Christ gifts and calls men to serve as pastors in the local church which confirms and ordains them to the task (office) of leading and teaching.

    Regarding the gift of pastor, the Bible employs various terms: Elder, pastor, and over-seer (translated bishop or presbyter). However, as Peter makes clear, all these terms all refer to the same gift and may describe various aspects of the same ministry (1 Pet 5:1-2). Some consider the office of elder to be the same as “pastor,” while others choose a group of men to serve as presbyters (session), often with the lead elder (preaching elder) ministering the Word and ordinances. The Bible furnishes no provision for women to serve as pastors (1 Tim 2:11-12; cf. 1 Cor 14:34-38).

    A pastor’s mission is to embrace the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20). A pastor is called to make disciples who make disciples through a process of disciple-making that involves worship, preaching and teaching, leading, nurturing, and protecting. A pastor’s purpose is to lead God’s people in disciple-making, demonstrating what a life of sacrifice for Christ looks like. A pastor’s purpose is to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to edify, that is build up the body of Christ (Eph 4:12). A pastor is a disciple-maker who is to exhort disciples to make disciples (2 Tim 2:2).

Nigerian Shepherd

    Has God called you into the ministry? If you feel He has, let me begin by saying that within Christ’s ‘general calling’ to be His servants, is a ‘particular calling’ to serve Him as minister of the Word. And so, it has been rightly said, the nature of one’s ministry is determined by the gift received. When God calls a man to be a pastor, He calls him to witness the saving truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to lead one of His congregations as an undershepherd. This calling is to equip His “saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying (literally, building up) of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12-14).

   Every pastor should take his calling seriously. For you serve the Lord Christ (Col 3:24). For as Charles H. Spurgeon has aptly stated, “No one may intrude into the sheepfold as an undershepherd; he must have an eye to the chief Shepherd, and await His beck and command.”[1] Likewise, in the parable of the places of honor at the table, Jesus teaches that we are not to presume to take a choice seat but rather to humbly wait for the King to call us forward to serve Him (Lk 14:14).

   Moreover, if you are called by the Lord, that calling will be confirmed by God’s people, who, sensing the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit, will call upon you to serve as Christ’s undershepherd. For, assuredly, the scriptural calling comes not only through the heart of the candidate, but also from the Church itself. In other words, the call is never complete until the church has confirmed it. “Those who profess to be called of God,” writes Spurgeon, are “selected to their positions by the free choice of believers.”[2]

   Therefore, it may truly be said that the call comes from God through His people. The sheep must hear the voice of the Shepherd through the undershepherd. Along with the candidate’s aptitude for preaching, and consent of the flock, Spurgeon writes, “That which finally evidences a proper call, is a correspondent opening in providence, by a gradual train of circumstances pointing out the means, the time, the place of actually entering upon the work.” [3]

   Considering all of this, every pastor should take his calling very seriously. First, because being called to pastor is being called to die. It’s a call to follow Jesus and imitate His life and ministry, to take up your cross daily, to mediate God’s truth and grace to a rebellious world groaning under the weight of its sin. Second, if you are married, it means serving Christ as a faithful family man, to love and honor your wife and children that God has called you to lead. Your family of course will be an example to the flock. Third, it means serving Christ as the leader of a congregation: By providing purpose, direction and motivation to a congregation; by faithfully preaching and teaching God’s Holy Word; by loving the people, caring for their needs, and protecting them from dangerous influences.

   If you are called of the Lord, be well aware that this is a high and holy calling. Without this defining characteristic of the call, the intruder will be found guilty of the sin of Uzzah. He was wrong in presuming to serve God in a way that God had not prescribed (2 Sam 6:6-8). In the Book of Jeremiah, the genuine call is demonstrated over against the presumptuous when God says, “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings” (Jer 23:21-22). All are not called to labor in the Word and doctrine but if a man desires the position of an elder, he desires a good work (1 Tim 3:1).

   It is clearly evident to us from Scripture that Christ Himself gifts and calls men to serve His church (Eph 4:11). It is through these appointed officers that Christ governs His church. In light of all this, how do we know if we are called? You must have an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work. You must feel, “woe unto me for I must preach the gospel,” as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel did (Is 6:8; Jer 20:9; Ezek 2:1-3). How can we justify our calling if we don’t have a similar call (Acts 20:17-32)? If you are called of God to preach the Word, the passion will bear the test of time. Christ’s gifts will confirm your calling. What God requires: He gives.

   As God’s men, we are called to be His office bearers. We are called and equipped to shepherd His flock which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20). We stand like watchman on the walls and preach the King’s degree. We are called to be faithful to God’s message. We are called to call others to repentance and faith. We are called to pronounce God’s judgments along with the promise of His forgiveness to those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ. Perhaps most of all, we are called to love others and suffer long with them. And like God’s men of old, we are called to persevere in troubles, while our message is often largely ignored.

    The God-given role of the pastor may be understood to be threefold. To serve the Lord Jesus as His undershepherd by: Guiding, providing and protecting Christ’s sheep. Expounding upon these three roles, a pastor serves Christ by: (1) Leading the church in disciple-making (Mt 28:18-20); (2) Gathering, equipping and edifying the saints through preaching and teaching the Word of God (Eph 4:11-16); and (3) Protecting the flock with nurturing care (1 Pet 5:2-3). See diagram below.

Pastors Role - 6 Aug 19

Pastor’s Three-fold Role.

 

[1] Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2011), 25.

[2] Ibid., 85.

[3] Ibid., 36.