Contained in this dialogue is not an indictment upon anyone’s Pastorate. Rather, it is however, to secure a look at particular realities that should be present within a Pastoral Calling to a local Church. Paramount in this calling is the reality of a FOCUS upon people above ideas and ones personal benefits behind the title itself.
As Pastors, we are by title the Pastor of many or a few. In either case the truth is we are actually the under-shepherds of Jesus. As under-shepherds, for those that we are actually shepherding, the question becomes, what are we as shepherds actually teaching them about the God of the Word? Also, as we instruct them in the Word, are we doing it so that they know how to defend what they believe to be true? Do our members even know why they believe what they believe?? Our teaching to those we are in charge of must encompass teaching them to embrace 1st Peter 3:15-16 as a way of life and ministry. It says, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
There are 4 basic, yet, ultimate questions that every religion, including Christianity, must answer. We as Pastors must teach our congregation to focus upon how to answer these questions, while over and over again equipping them with real time answers from the Word of God! We do this over and over again because the law of learning is repetition! Paul makes us to know this reality in Philippians 3:1, “To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and is a safeguard for you.”
The questions are these:
1) ORIGIN (where do I come from?)
2) MEANING why do I have significance?)
3) MORALITY (how do I differentiate right and wrong?)
4) DESTINY what happens after death?)
As pastors, we must begin to ask ourselves, “Am I really teaching and addressing my people concerning these issues of Scripture and everyday living? Or am I just preaching Sunday after Sunday with no real teaching of objective Biblical Truths? Am I just preaching to the people with no attempt to make them accountable to the truth I am pouring into their lives?”
We must teach those who are under us that they are required to do evangelism in the market place of everyday living. We are required to make them to know that “Evangelism will look less like one conversation with a hundred people and more like a hundred conversations with one person.” (Everyday Questions, Ravi Zacharias)
Our conversations with every single individual aims to foster an attitude of compassion and empathy for the challenges and concerns of friends, neighbors, and family, whether they follow Christ or not. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care!
Christianity is to be taught to those placed in our care as a comprehensive life system, a worldview. And a worldview is not something that we see, rather, it is something that we see with(to the Christian it is the Bible).
We as Christians must agree with C.S. Lewis when he asserts concerning Christianity that, “ I believe in Christianity as I believe in watching the Sunrise. Not only do I see it, but by it I see everything else.”
Finally, as shepherds we must engage those that we shepherd to embrace the VISION that we have received from the Lord to the Church. Thus, I close with this statement about VISION: “VISION without ACTION is merely a dream; action without VISION just passes the time; VISION with ACTION can change the WORLD!”
What sort of Pastor are you?
What sort of sheep are you?
Thinking out Loud to begin 2018
-Pastor Roy Smith