Fighting the wolf is the pastor's duty; we need to confront the influences that would destroy God's people.
Scripture: Ephesians 4:11-12; Ezekiel 34:22-31; John 10:11-16
- The offices given to the church are for the strengthening and building up of the people of God for the work of ministry.
- In addition to the apostolic and prophetic aspect of its calling, there must be shepherds in the church community.
- To be a shepherd is a humble, difficult vocation, caring for and protecting sheep in all weather conditions.
- Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:14 cf. Hebrews 13:20).
- The shepherd image shouldn’t bring us to passivity as though the shepherds do all the work; primarily the pastor’s task is to equip God’s people, through training, nurture and discipling.
- Fighting the wolf is the pastor’s duty; we need to confront the influences that would destroy God’s people.
- The calling of the pastor includes identifying and dealing with predators.
- The Good Shepherd will bring blessing and unification to God’s people (Ezekiel 34:22-31; cf. John 10:11-16).
- We have a duty to one another, and a wider calling to the world.
- All we do is to be guided and governed by the Word of God. We’re to hear the voice of the shepherd.
- The term ‘pastor’ or ‘shepherd’ involves authority to teach, to guide and to exercise authority.
- We are also to shepherd one another in the church and we are to call the nations to discipleship under Christ.
- In our culture any office with authority is viewed with suspicion.
- However, we need to recognize that God has called out leaders; we want to make their work a joy rather than a misery.
- The purpose of pastoral ministry is that we might reach maturity in Christ and that our joy may be full. This joy is a principal part of happiness in this world and the world to come.
- In the family, fathers in particular are to serve as pastors. This is a concrete way God illustrates pastoral ministry.
- Qualifications for eldership are familial; the home is where pastoral functions begins (1 Thess. 2:11-12; 1 John 3:1-3).
- If we were to take the pastoral calling in the home seriously, we would expect to see massive revival in the next generation.
- The Hebraic understanding of the home was a sanctuary of prayer and worship, a place of prayer, serving, and community.
- It is important to regularly talk to our children about the Word of God, and to pray together as a family.
- In the Jewish tradition the home was as important as the synagogue; teaching in the church is not a substitute for the home.
- As we are emphasizing the priesthood of all believers, that can begin in our homes ministering to one another.
- The church and home are not primarily buildings, but rather communities called out to serve God and others.
- God’s pattern for fatherhood is that we love our children, pity them, rejoice in them (Psalm 103:13; John 15:11).
- We are commanded as believers to be joyful; when we rejoice in God we start feeling joyful.
- The chief purpose that God has for us is that we may form an instrument for God’s work within our own family.
- Fathers must act like men; instead of following amusements; we are to turn our hearts toward our children.
- In what areas of life do we make our experience more authoritative than the Word of God?
- How can we move toward singing, praying and talking over the Word with our families?
- What are the implications of Deut. 6:7-9 for raising our children?
- What are the consequences when we as parents do not ensure that the Word is transmitted to our children?
- What is the source, purpose, and nature of pastoral authority in the church?
- How can we support pastoral leaders, making their work a joy?
- Contrast the church and the home’s responsibility for teaching.