More qualities of a Christ-like pastor
The Apostle Paul showed in his ministry as a pastor of the church in Ephesus, several qualities of a Christ-like pastor.
Here is a Pastor who has discharged his duties so well as a pastor that he could say to the elders of the church, “Let me say plainly that I have been faithful. No one’s damnation can be blamed on me” (Acts 20:26, NLT). No Church member’s failure to experience new birth in Christ could be blamed on him. He effectively preached to them, “the gospel” which is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who would accept the message and believe on the Lord Jesus as saviour and God (Romans 1:16). The Bible says “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved” (Romans 10:9-10, NLT). The Apostle Paul as a pastor made sure he faithfully taught church members this. Today “the whole counsel of God” would be the teaching in both the Old Testament and the New Testament – all the 66 books of the whole Bible. Paul helped church members to search the scriptures and engage the teachings of the whole bible and not only push personal favourite subjects and themes as some pastors do. It has been observed that participation in programmes across the country is big and increasing but sound teaching of the bible that will lead to forming Christ-like disciples is very low and poor in several congregations. The bible says pastors must “work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and one who correctly explains (teaches) the word of truth”. (2 Timothy 2:15,NLT, The Book) Next, the Apostle Paul urges pastors and elders, “be sure that you feed and shepherd God’s flock –His church, purchased with his blood –over whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders (Acts 20:28, NLT, The Book). This text reminds pastors that they are only care takers of the Church and its members. The real owner is Christ who purchased true believers with His precious blood. No human being, no pastor, no elder has the capacity to do this. Only Jesus saves and gives everyone who believes eternal life. The church is Christ’s flock. That is any true Christian Church (body of believers) belong to Christ. And Christ appoints pastors and elders to care for His flock, the church. Christ’s flock must, therefore, be shepherded according to Christ’s guidelines –the Bible, as properly understood and appropriately applied. Church work must be bible centred and Christ honouring. Pastors are to feed with God’s word and shepherd church members in a manner that will build up the believers in sound Christian belief and practices that bring smiles on the face of Christ! Do our pastors really consider themselves as only caretakers of the church members, working for and under Christ? Christ is the supreme owner, MD and CEO of the Church! Pastors and Christian leaders must relate to Him and the Church members as such!To be continued (The writer is a Consultant in Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship, an International Conference Speaker and former CEO of Scripture Union, ()