Forgive me if this sounds like rambling. I don’t intend it to be. Just bear with me in my folly please… Are we considering the office of pastor in our churches like we should? What I mean by that is, do we have the office in the correct light of it’s definition according to the scriptures.
My take on it is first and foremost, a Pastor is not to be a dictator but a leader who leads by example. 1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
And oversight is what? If he’s to be giving directions from the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus, from the Word of God. (Feed the flock of God which is among you,) Not watering down or trying to give an entertaining show, but preaching with all that’s in him. And not just preaching sermons that give folks a warm fuzzy feeling, but expounding on the word ! 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
And is the position of Pastor a Calling or a God given, God allowed desire? Now before you start hopping into Ephesians 4, hear me out… Paul plainly said in: 1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A desire is not a calling, it’s a want and quite frankly, it’s up to the congregation listening to the Lord to appoint a man as their pastor.
Another bit of scripture that leads me to believe that being a Pastor is not a calling is Romans 22:28-29. Check this out. If being a pastor were a calling neither the congregation could change their minds about him and ask him to leave, nor could the Pastor change his mind and resign… Why, because with a calling, you can’t just change your mind and quit: Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. The word repent means to change your mind and go the opposite direction of where you were heading.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Ephesians 4 is where the quandary is. We know however that the calling of God doesn’t allow us to change our minds once we have accepted it. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if we could classify the office of the Bishop/Pastor as a gift of God. Some however, wouldn’t allow a distinction between the callings and the gifts as in Ephesians 4.
The key to what Paul told Timothy was point blank dealing with a desire. To be honest with you, and at the risk of sounding ungrateful for God’s calling as a preacher, (which I’m not ungrateful)… I really didn’t desire to be called as a preacher, that was God’s choice. But once I gave into the calling and became a preacher, I developed in myself a desire to pastor, which isn’t the desire of everyone who’s called to preach. Does that make sense? Not trying to split hairs. Just making an observation.