Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Shepherd Is A Sheep

Temple Baptist Church - 7-26-2015
1 Thessalonians 2:10

A.  The pastor or elder is also called a shepherd. 
1.  In the Old Testament, the shepherd was a man while the flock was made up of goats, sheep, etc.  The word “pastor” means “to tend a flock.” 
2.  In the New Testament’s local church, the “shepherd” and the “sheep” are the same: born again believers assembled together for the cause of edification, encouragement, comfort, instruction, soul winning, missions, etc. 
B.  Notice that Paul said, “Among you.”
1.  The Pastor is not over you!  The pastor is not a “lord” or “dictator” over the believers in the church.  He is not elevated in his person as much as he is in his position.  He is among you.
2.  The Pastor is not under you!  The pastor is not “subservient” to the sheep.  He is not to be ruled by a body politic within the church such as a Board of Trustees or Board of Deacons.  He is to be ruled by a self-selected few within the church.  He is among you.
3.  The Pastor is outside of you!  The pastor, too often, never becomes one with the church.  This can be for more than one reason: 
a) He will not be one with the church because is not going to stay!  He did not come to stay!  Too many pastors spend their entire ministry going from church to church.  A few years back, one survey said that the average stay of a Baptist preacher was 18 months.  I can neither confirm nor can I deny this figure but I know such pastors personally  

b)  The church will not allow him to be one with them because they do not want him to stay indefinitely.  Most modern churches are not looking for God’s man because he will preach the whole counsel of God.  Most modern churches are not looking for a pastor because he will become involved with families as a spiritual counselor.  They are looking for a teacher of a preacher who will leave them to their own devices.
4.  The pastor is one of you and one with you!  We are one in the body and there is to be no division there.  Too often, it is “us” and “him” where the pastor may be a member and fill the pulpit but he never becomes or is allowed to become one with the church.
C.  The people of the local church, including its pastor, need to realize the importance of God’s man and the unity that he is to bring.  I will share a few thoughts that are not going to be made in order to lift this past up but they are on my heart.
1.  He is your man and you had better protect him!  It only takes the silence of the majority to make a minority the majority.  If your pastor is right, when the wolf comes in, do not leave the church because you want peace.  Peace always have a price and that price is the sacrifice of war.
2.  He is your man and you had better take care of him!  This church does and my wife and I have need of nothing but we had a “wolf” come in years ago that tried to starve us out.  You may or may not have noticed, but when you vote to take care of your pastor, it never hurts the church or its finances!
3.  He is you man and you had better love him!  Real pastors (God’s men) are about as scarce as “hen’s teeth.”  Yes, there are men who have “retired” that are willing to preach for you in order to have an extra income, but, if they were real pastors, they would have never retired!  Small churches are hurting everywhere because of a lack of real pastors to fill their pulpits.  When the hireling fills the pulpit, he will run when real trouble comes and the storm begins to “rock the boat.”
D.  What is the biblical pastor?
1.  He is both a leader and a follower.  You cannot be a good leader until you have learned to be a good follower.  He is to lead the church as a pastor and is to follow the church as a member.  We make our decisions together and your wisdom and experience are needed in the decision making.  The pastor is not your ‘lord.”
2.  He is both a teacher and a student.  Paul, writing to young Timothy, said to study!  The work of the pastor is two-fold in the area of teaching and preaching.  He must be a student of the Bible (not what people say about the Bible) as well as a teacher of the Bible.  God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and many pulpits are the destructing power.  Shallowness because of lack of study will cause churches to be filled with saved but biblically ignorant people.
3.  He is both a preacher and a heeder of the Bible.  We often hear the saying, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say do.”  In these verses, we find that Paul behaved himself in a godly manner and set a biblical example for the people to follow.  God’s men are not perfect so do not hold them to that standard but they are to walk in a consistent, biblical manner before the people.  Preachers need to personally apply the sermon before they preach them.
4.  He is both God’s man and he is your man!  He is God’s gift to you.  He is just exactly what you need and he is just exactly like you.
Ephesians 4:11-16  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  (12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  (13)  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  (14)  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  (15)  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  (16)  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

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