cox-BiblicalPastorv2.pdf – This is a brief sermon (8 pgs) that presents many topics on this page. I will not reproduce this booklet on this page but make comments on sections instead.
A. Administration or Government (the office of Pastor)
B. Job Description of the Pastor
1. Feed the Sheep
2. Warn and Protect
3. Pastoral Watch Care
C. How does a man enter the office of Pastor?
D. Disqualification and removal
E. The Qualifications or Requirements of Pastor
Let’s start off by saying that some groups of people (individual churches, and particular groups like the Brethren, Mennonites, Anabaptists, some Bible Churches, etcetera) have a particular rejection of the office of pastor. I have visited and fellowship with some of these types of people in Bible churches (and an internet discussion group I participated in for a while), and they are good people basically. Their basic thinking is that pastors are unbiblical, so they establish a Presbyterian type of government on the premise of co-equal elders instead of a pastor.
Let me note here that for all the theory people put forth for co-equal elders, I have never once seen it actually in practice and functioning. I have seen churches with an elder board, but they always go back to a single elder being “in charge”. They shun the term “pastor” because supposedly it is tarnished with anti-biblical concepts, and in their opinion the term itself is in antibiblical, but the concept of a single elder being in charge still has to be imposed because chaos is what happens when things do not get channeled through a single source “at the top”.
Let’s note also that the word “pastor” is a biblical term. However you wish to consider it, it is not an unbiblical concept. The fact that there are a host of unbiblical pastors out there I do not for a second deny, but I cannot accept throwing out the “baby with the bathwater”. The term that God gave us to use is “pastor” we should use it. Concerning the abuses by pastors, this should become a matter of great concern for every pastor, and he should teach against the abuses of pastors even though he personally is not abusive.
We as pastors or those in oversight should be keenly aware of the marks of bad or poor ministers of the gospel as well as being well studied on the duties of those in oversight, and the warnings to us from God.
The tasks or job description of a biblical pastor falls basically into three categories.
The first is the primary one, to spiritually feed the sheep. This speaks mainly to his pulpit ministry of teaching and preaching in the church. The food much be beneficial to the sheep and not just filler food. The pastor must prepare the meal (dig it out of the Scriptures). It must not be something that is out of the context of the Bible (it must be a study of Scripture about a passage or topic), and it must not violate the intent of God’s will on the matter. This means it must harmonize with the Bible’s teaching on this matter and not contradict the Bible on other matters.
Next his duty is to warn and protect. This speaks of interdiction, or setting up oneself between the sheep and the danger. This means that when the sheep wants (because of the deception of the danger) to go to the danger, the shepherd must present himself as an antagonist of sorts, attacking the danger in the eyes of the shepherd. The old saying, “Stand for nothing and fall for anything” reflects on the fact that Pastors must be bold in declaring where the Bible stands on issues. Being neutral or silent on matters only shifts the responsibility and blame on nobody. But the Pastor has that responsibility before the Lord to take care of the sheep and make sure they do not fall prey to dangers.
The final duty is Pastoral Watch care or Visitation in the biblical sense of the word. A shepherd did this usually at night while returning to the fold. They used a sheepgate which is a stretch of wall some yards long with a narrow gate in the middle. The sheep stick close to the shepherd, and he comes to the gate and sits down there in the gate. The sheep can easily go around the wall (because it just ends some 5 or 10 yards in each direction and you can walk around the end) but the sheep don’t do this because they don’t want to get so far from their shepherd). The shepherd sits down and then grabs the closest sheep and looks it over, puts balm on their wounds, takes the stickers out of their wool or cuts them out, and does whatever is needed to attend to the personal individual needs of that particular sheep. Once finished he pushes the sheep behind him through the gate where it stays until the shepherd has done this to every sheep in his flock.
This is the biblical picture of pastoral visitation. It is laughable to consider this and consider the great failure in cases of big churches with 1,000+ people. How can a pastor comply with his duty in caring individually for the sheep when the sheep fold grows so large? Real shepherds divide the fold, but in our competitive bigger is better age, we just close our eyes to our pastoral duty.
The bottom line here is, whatever is wrong spiritually in the church member’s life, the pastor visits the member and fixes what is wrong. The only reason why it is not fixed (over a long period of time) is because the member refuses the pastoral watch care that the pastor gives.
E. The Qualifications or Requirements of Pastor