The Pastor

The Relationship of a Pastor to His Church

Ephesians 4:9-12
Audio MP3

July 10th 2011 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

I. Introduction (Eph 4:9-12)

A. Jesus gave a precious gift when He gave a pastor to a small group of believers

1. He at first gave Apostles and Prophets, who wrote down into the New Testament what He had said – these were pretty important people – they gave us the Bible!

2. Then he gave Evangelists who went out and started churches all over the world – small groups of new believers

3. Then He gave Pastors and Teachers to lead those churches, perfecting them (notice what God calls Christians on earth – saints), preparing them to be able to work the ministry, and edify the body of Christ on earth

B. They are vitally important to a church – and especially to every Christian

C. Today, most churches only exist for the pleasure of the sheep

1. They only Entertain – great motivators, and performers

2. Only try to Calm people down from the stress of life – help them to “cope”

3. Try and take care of people’s every need, offer counselling and every other service to people

4. Always making sure to never offend or upset anyone – just make sure everybody is happy

D. But, Christ’s church exists for the pleasure of Christ Himself

1. He saved us so that we would walk with Him

2. Worship only Him

3. Obey ALL He has said to do

4. So that we could get cleaned up, and changed, and live holy as He is holy!

E. A Pastor is called by God to make sure a group of believers please Jesus by their lives, in their homes, and by their unity as a Church!

F. Examples of Pastors in the Bible include:

1. Moses – Pastored a million and a half people!

2. Jesus – Pastored 12 fishermen, tax collectors, and carpenters

3. Timothy – Pastored thousands of people spread throughout the big city of Ephesus in Turkey

G. Can a Christian be right with God and not have a pastor? Just worship God on his or her own with no accountability? No.

H. Why?

1. Because God ordained pastors as the shepherds of a flock of believers. Sheep don’t shepherd themselves – they need a shepherd

2. Because Jesus died not to just save your soul, but to bond you together with other Christians – He loved the church idea enough to die for it!

3. Because not submitting to a Bible believing pastor only proves that you have a problem submitting to Jesus!

I. This morning, I want to look at the relationship between Bible believing pastor and his church

II. Message

A. What is a Pastor? (Acts 20:16-22; 28-32)

1. He is a shepherd - Notice the “flock” (20:28)

a. Not much glory in that title! When was the last time being a shepherd won any awards for popularity?

b. A Pastor is NOT a Doctor, or a C.E.O. of a company, nor a politician, or a solicitor, not a counsellor, nor a friend or buddy. He is not a priest, or “a man of the cloth”

c. He is a shepherd - He “shepherds” sheep

d. That means he is responsible for them, protects them, guides them, prepares them for use – more about this in a moment

e. In my estimation, it is the greatest calling in the world! There is no greater job to do, no greater service to give than that of shepherding a group of born again Christians as they seek to be like Jesus!

2. He is Called by God (20:28) – not of his own will – not for his own gain

a. The Holy Ghost places men in charge of guiding believers in obedience to God’s word

b. Called means appointed – they are given this task by Jesus Christ

c. Just as real as when Jesus called Saul of Tarsus

d. That makes him a “man of God” – God’s man (1Tim 6:11)! Not owned by anyone but God. Fearing no one, except displeasing His Saviour!

e. If someone WANTS to pastor and preach and teach, praise God! But the only people in the Bible that pastor churches are those that know that GOD asked them to do it – not because they thought it would be fun, or easy!

3. He is a Man – not a woman (1Tim 3:2; 2:12,13; 1Cor 14:34,35)

a. God calls men to lead His churches – call that sexist all you want, but that is what the BIBLE says

b. That means he will be strong, loud, masculine in character

c. He doesn’t always understand everything about what you are going through, and doesn’t feel everything you may feel, but he does care

d. And he cares most about God and HIS honour – not yours!

e. He wants to win, build, accomplish things

4. He is Well Trained – not a novice (1Tim 3:6)

a. He is a student of this Book – his whole world view is based upon the Bible!

1) Still learning yes – never thinks he has it all figured out

2) But he has absolute convictions about what is right and wrong, and truth and error!

b. Has been trained to lead, to preach, to teach, to win souls, and to build a church!

c. He has been prepared not just by schooling, but through hardships and struggles

d. He knows how to pray and how to trust God for everything he needs

5. Ordained – approved

a. Doesn’t just head off and take authority – he has earned that power

b. He has proven himself to his pastor, and to the people of the church he grew up in

c. He has earned the right to lead others!

B. What Does a Pastor Do? (Acts 20:20-35)

1. Most people think a pastor just writes down a few things on Saturday evening, and then lectures on a Sunday morning, and then that is it for another week. Well, maybe that is how it is in many churches, but not in a Bible believing church!

2. He Leads (Act 20:28)

a. He is the Shepherd. Sets the pace, the direction of the Church

1) A Pastor constantly seeks God’s will for the Church as a group

2) He has burdens for people and places you have never seen

3) He dreams of where God wants his group, not just tomorrow, but 2 years, and 10 years down the line

4) Follow him as he follows Christ (Heb 13:7,8; 1Cor 11:1; 4:16)

5) He is your example – an imperfect one – but the one God has given you (2Thes 3:7-10)

a) Of how hard to work

b) Of how much to love your wife and family

c) Of how to live by faith

d) Of how to care for people

b. He is the Overseer – the manager – that’s where we get the word “Bishop” from.

1) It is the same man, with different titles: Pastor, Shepherd, Bishop, Elder – same man

2) He manages – coordinates

3) He helps people discover what their spiritual gifts are

4) And then he gets them using those gifts

5) Sometimes he just gets people busy serving – because he sees a job that needs done, and just sets out to get it done!

c. He is a Ruler – governs what happens in a church (Heb 13:7,17)

1) That is the Bible’s word for him – “ruler”

a) Like as a father has rule in his home

b) Like as the Garda have rule in our communities

c) Like as the Dail has rule over our country

d) So does a pastor have rule over his church

2) Your pastor is responsible to God for how you live as Christians

a) I’m not doing my job if you are just living any old way you want

b) My task, as is the job of all Bible believing pastors is to get Christians to live by this Book – to not just be hearers of the word, but doers!

3) Notice 1 Tim 5:17, “them that rule well” not just “teach” well

4) Most people only want a token leader – a figure head that they can use when they need him, instead of treating him as the Man of God that he really is! Obeying his counsel, and following his lead!

5) A pastor is a ruler, NOT as a LORD, but as a servant who has the authority of his Master. When the pastor speaks from this Book, he speaks with the authority of the Author, not of just himself!

d. He works as part of a leadership team – with the mature Christian men in that church – called elder Christians – not older men, but mature and faithful men who serve along side him, under his leadership

3. He Loves – cares for the flock.

a. Doesn’t care about money, economies, or about aliens and UFO’s and beached whales!

b. Cares about souls (Heb 13:17)!

c. About families

d. About spiritual growth, and faithfulness, and integrity, having humble and right attitudes

e. He loves people!

1) He loves sinners

2) He especially loves the people who gather on Sundays and Wednesdays

f. And he will give his life, spend himself, pouring himself into anybody who will listen

4. He Feeds - Preaches and Teaches (Acts 20:28,32)

a. Challenges you with the absolute truths of the Bible

b. Pulls you and pushes you beyond what you are comfortable with

c. Shows you what God says and what God expects

d. Shows you truth upon truth – unlike most universities today

e. A pastor will never teach anything other than what GOD says (1Tim 1:3,4) – not what another scholar, or writer, or religious leader says!

f. Gives you hope, and encouragement

g. And also gives you correction and rebuke

h. It all goes together like a good meal (2Tim 4:1-4)

i. Every time we gather together, we will always open the Bible and feed on something in it that will fill and bless our souls, or correct our souls

5. He Protects (Acts 20:29,30)

a. From false doctrine – wrong beliefs

1) There is so much junk that people hear and believe today

2) People believe in angels and

b. From false teachers – wolves

1) There are false shepherds (Zech 11:17; 2Cor 11:3,4)

2) They are such good speakers, smooth talkers

3) A good pastor exposes the wolves in sheep clothing

c. From false spirits – demonic spirits that take over people’s homes and lives, and ultimately churches!

1) The spirit of today is the spirit of rebellion, and bad attitudes, and anger, and wrath

2) The spirit of today is self help, self love, self gratification

3) It seeks to replace the cross with entertainment, and the Bible with emotions, and preaching with “discussions”

4) It constantly creeps into churches

d. A pastor is on eternal guard to keep that stuff OUT!

C. What Should Christians Do? How should Christians treat Pastors?

1. Prove them – test them with the Bible (John 5:39; Acts 17:10,11)

a. The safest church is the one where everyone has an open Bible, and a testing mind

b. All a pastor should ever do is say, Thus saith the Lord

2. Submit to them (Heb 13:17) – obey them

a. Listen to them – don’t ignore them, or find fault with them

b. Come under their authority

c. If what they say is what God said to do, then do it – even if you find faults with them (Mat 23:1-7)

d. They are God’s gift to you just like you as a parent are God’s gift to your children!

3. Emulate them (2Thes 3:7-9). The world offers so many shallow lives to emulate

a. Movie stars – Brad Pitt,

b. Music stars – emminem, lady gaga, filthy elton john

c. Sports stars

d. Fantasy role models

e. Everybody wants to emulate their hair, their walk, their talk

f. Learn some things from your pastor! He aint perfect but he is better than those creeps

4. Honour them (1Timothy 5:17,18)

5. Pray for them (1Thes 5:25) – the great apostle Paul knew he needed the supportive prayers of God’s people! Your pastor needs you to pray for him as much as you can!

6. Supply their needs (1Cor 9:11-14).

a. I am not paid by this church

b. But it is right to minister to a pastor, a missionary

c. They live to meet your needs

d. It is only right and proper to find out what they need, and supply it as well

e. That is how the whole body ministers to itself in love!

III. Conclusion – Challenge

A. Every church needs right leadership – a church is not a democracy, but a sheep fold, with a shepherd.

B. Most churches only exist for the pleasure of the sheep

C. Christ’s church exists for the pleasure of Christ Himself

D. Jesus gave a precious gift when He gave us pastors

E. He expects believers to follow their pastor as he follows Jesus

F. It allows Christ to lead them, love them, feed them and protect them through their pastor

G. When a Christian rejects their pastor’s rule, they are away from God, and cannot be protected from Satan’s attacks and dominance

H. We have learned What a Pastor is

1. He is a shepherd

2. He is called by God (20:28) – not of his own will – not for his own gain

3. He is a man – not a woman (1Tim 3:2; 2:12,13; 1Cor 14:34,35)

4. He is well trained – not a novice (1Tim 3:6)

5. Ordained – approved

I. We have Learned what a Pastor Does (Acts 20:20-35)

1. He Leads (Act 20:28) As a shepherd. Sets the pace, the direction of the Church

2. He Loves – cares for the flock

3. He Feeds - Preaches and Teaches (Acts 20:28,32)

4. He Protects (Acts 20:29,30)

J. We have Learned How Christians should treat Pastors

1. Prove them – test them with the Bible

2. Submit yourselves – obey them

3. Emulate them

4. Honour them

5. Pray for them

6. Supply their needs

K. Let’s make sure we do all that!

L. Why? So that we can be the kind of church that Jesus died to obtain!