Ephesians 4:11 reads: “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.” All of these ministerial offices have their place in the church today. The Apostles that Christ chose in His day are as much for me today in their writings as they were verbally or personally to those who heard them. In one sense every believer is a disciple of each Apostle in reading their words. Under them under Christ are all the rest of us forever. The office I want to speak of here is that of the pastor. Unlike Apostles, there are pastors being called every day. Scripture says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account…” Hebrews 13:17a. Did you know pastors have such a calling? It’s a solemn charge. It is difficult and often unenviable work. It takes a miracle and time to make men truly suited for the office. 

     Paul, in what are called his, “Pastoral Epistles” to Timothy and Titus gave a lot of instructions on church leadership. Principle among them was the charge as pastors to teach sound doctrine. Ref. Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 2:1; 1 Timothy 1:10. The pastor has been given the word of God. His job is not to, “Use the Bible to create his religion.” Rather, he is given the Bible to explain his religion. True men of God are gifted by the Holy Spirit to pastor their churches and unravel or unpack the word of God in the pulpit. Peter reminds his readers about these leaders, and how they are to teach and live before their congregations as shepherds to their flocks under the Chief Shepherd who is Christ Himself, 1 Peter 5:1-4.

     One quote that’s often stood out to me over the years regarding the preacher is quoted in Michael Fabarez’s outstanding book Preaching That Changes Lives. The quote is from an English Pastor named Joseph Parker. Parker said: “This is what we need: A man to tell us the meaning of hard words and difficult things and mysteries which press too heavily upon a staggering faith. The interpretation comes to us as a lamp, and we instantly feel the comfort and the liberty of illumination… We want men who can turn foreign words and difficult languages into our mother tongue; then how simple they are and how beautiful, and that which was a difficulty before becomes a gate opening upon a wide liberty. We need a man who can interpret to us the meaning of confused and confusing and bewildering events; some man with a key from heaven, some man with divine insight, the vision that sees the poetry and the reality of things, and a man with a clear, simple, strong, penetrating voice.”

     A church body will never rise above the spiritual level of its pastor. This makes them a prime target. Satan, who is likened to a lion in spirit (1 Peter 5:8) unlike lions in the wild, does not always go after the weak. He often goes after the strong. Pray for your pastors. Theirs is a high calling. Love your pastors as men placed in your life for eternal purpose. They are there for your eternal joy and reward. I love not only my pastor, but I love the office of my pastor. My heart is endeared to my pastors in a very special way. I love them like no one else in the church. It is not just that Scripture says, as cited above, that they’ll give an account to God on how they’ve led me, but it’s that we’re both to be delighted that we’ve been called to this special fellowship together. As the latter half of Hebrews 13:17 says I’m supposed to make his work over me a joy to him, and I can do this in many ways. I have many teachers, but I’ve only had a few shepherds. Augustine once said, “Christianity is faith seeking understanding.” The pastor’s work is to answer my need for that understanding. No man takes this honor upon himself. It is the highest church calling on earth active today. It is an office that’s to be respected and protected. 

     They’re to teach us sound doctrine…and then everything else. If you have a pastor who does this like mine does, you too are blessed beyond measure.  


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