Godly Shepherds, Godly Sheep

By David Robinson/ November 17, 2013

Series  Hebrews and the High Priesthood

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  The Church

Scripture  Hebrews 13:17-19

There is a covenantal relationship between God and His people; church leaders are entrusted with the care of your souls.

Scripture:  Hebrews 13:17-19; 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6 

Sermon Notes:

  1. Our independent-minded culture struggles to accept the biblical command to obey our leaders.  
  2. Leaders in the church are Christ’s gift for the care of the souls of God’s people.
  3. Shepherds are accountable to God and they are charged to inspect the flock to identify sin and to apply the biblical remedy.  
  4. Pastors are ministers of the Word called to apply God’s word to the people under their care, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
  5. Ministers protect the church from wolves, and lead the church into good pastures.  When the pastors transgress, the sheep are destroyed (Jeremiah 2:8,13).
  6. Pastors should seek to be shepherds after God’s own heart, as they lead in the spirit and authority of Christ, knowing that they must give an account, daily and at the last judgment.
  7. Pastors are to live honorably before the flock, providing an example for all to follow.
  8. We are to submit to faithful leaders who are entrusted with authority over the church.
  9. Our attitude should be willing to be persuaded by our pastors; we should be ready to yield to their lead.
  10. Get to know your leaders; come to appreciate them and their concern for your soul (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
  11. You do not necessarily need to like them, but you are to esteem your leaders very highly because of their work, as ministers of God.
  12. Be at peace means that we are to express our disagreements in a way that maintains the peace and unity of the body of Christ.
  13. Pastors’ work will be joyful when we are obedient to Christ. 
  14. It is a burden to pastors when a congregation is lacking in love, lacking in maturity, or lacking in faith.
  15. We are not only to obey and submit, but we are also to pray for our leaders (2 Corinthians 1:11; Romans 15:30).
  16. Strive together with your pastor in prayer for Christ’s church.
  17. There is a covenantal relationship between God and His people; church leaders are entrusted with the care of your souls.
  18. In our independent age, people are reluctant to be accountable; but we need to be members of a local church in order to receive the benefits of pastoral care and accountability.
  19. As sheep, we are all prone to wander and so we need to avail ourselves of the care that God has provided.
  20. The Great Shepherd cares for us and has provided for our care by giving us shepherds through His church. 

Application Questions: 

  1. What is the God-given role and authority of pastors and elders?
  2. What are some ways we should submit to our leaders according to 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13?
  3. How can we get to know our leaders? Why is this important?
  4. Am I willing to be persuaded by my leaders?  Or am I stubborn?
  5. Why is it essential to be accountable to a local church? What role does membership have in the life of the believer?
  6. What are the benefits of praying for your leaders?
  7. In what ways can we bring joy to our pastors?
  8. How can we handle our disagreements appropriately while maintaining essential church unity?

Sermon Notes