[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]In my previous two blogs, I shared about how important it is for you to understand the pastor’s role, not only for his benefit, but mostly for your own. And in the previous two blogs, I wrote about the pastor’s responsibility to first take heed to himself and his own needs, before he takes heed to those within his congregation, as well as his responsibility to feed God’s sheep the Word of God. And if you didn’t read it, I also explained that if it is the pastor’s role to feed you God’s Word, then it is equally your responsibility to show up to each “feeding time,” which of course is your church services and other events your pastor conducts.[/x_custom_headline]
In this third part of this series I want to share some of the things the Lord has provided for the pastor to use to effectively pastor God’s people. So, let’s examine the verses below and see what additional important things we can learn about our pastor.
[x_blockquote cite=”Psalm 23:1-6 KJV” type=”left”]“1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”[/x_blockquote]
Obviously, Jesus is the chief Shepherd (see 1 Peter 5:4), but the Lord has set pastors in the Church for the express purpose of shepherding His sheep (see Ephesians 5:11-14). And so, from the twenty-third psalm we can glean several important things about the role of the pastor in our lives, as well as gain some additional insight as to why the pastor does what he does.
VS. 2 –
First, there is a confidence and assurance that the ministry of the shepherd provides to God’s people. God has never intended for His sheep to be without a shepherd, nor for them to ever attempt to shepherd themselves. Instead, God’s sheep can feed on the green pastures and drink from the still waters without fear, because they know that their shepherd in always on the look-out, and protecting them from whatever may try to harm them, or lead them astray.
VS. 3 –
The ministry of a true shepherd will cause the soul of the “sheep” to be refreshed and restored.
Also, a true shepherd will lead you down the paths of righteousness, helping to keep you out of sin and compromise. Sadly, many preachers today are teaching things that lead people further and further away from the paths of righteousness, but this is not the work of a true pastor.
You should thank the Lord Jesus daily if you have a clean-living, Bible believing preacher of righteousness as your pastor. Because the rarer they become, the greater value must be placed upon them. So, if you have one, please don’t take him for granted.
VS. 4 –
Sometimes the “valley of the shadow of death” is not only a description of the work of the enemy when he attacks our bodies or our finances for example, but it is also a good description of the teaching of the false teachers, false pastors and false prophets, which are rampant in these last days.
Because of all of this, the Lord Jesus has given pastors a shepherd’s staff as one of the tools of his ministry. And this staff has a crook on it in order to rescue the sheep from venturing into deception and destruction.
From the natural perspective, sheep can fall over on their backs at times and are then unable to right themselves again. When this happens, they will die. So, a good shepherd will always have his staff available to right those sheep again.
[highlight]Occasionally, God’s sheep mess up and end up flat on their backs, too.[/highlight] And yes, it would be accurate to call this, backsliding. But a good pastor will do everything he can to get that person back up and walking in right fellowship with the Lord again. However, it is sad that not all of them want to get back up again, but that is nothing that can be laid at the feet of the pastor. That is entirely a decision they have made, and the consequences of this decisions will be theirs alone to bear.
Yet another important thing to know about the staff or the rod that the pastor has been given, is that it can also be used as a club to beat the wolves away. So, don’t get too squeamish. It’s the pastor’s job to beat off wolves, so don’t feel sorry for them.
Never forget that had the wolves had their way, they would have devoured you. Keep your attitude right, and keep things in the right perspective. And never take sides with a wolf against your pastor, who is commissioned by God to protect the sheep. Just thank God that your pastor is bold enough and brave enough to do that job.
VS. 5 –
Another thing a shepherd does is anoint the head of the sheep with oil. The reason a shepherd does this is because sheep will, from time to time, stick their heads into places where they shouldn’t, and their head gets cut because of it.
When the head of a sheep is cut and begins to bleed, the anointing oil seeps into the cut and begins immediately to heal the wound. Without the oil, flies are attracted to the wound, and will lay their eggs in the wound. If this should happen, then maggots begin to crawl into the sheep’s head, through the ear canal, and into the brain. The sheep will then go crazy, and must be destroyed because of this.
But a true shepherd (pastor) will have enough anointing in the church house so that God’s people can be spared the effects of the false teachers. Without that anointing on God’s sheep, the teaching of the false ministers will work like maggots that enter in through the ears of the believer, goes into their brain, and destroys their walk with the Lord.
The role of your pastor in your life is extremely significant and valuable. Always demonstrate honor for him and find ways to be a blessing in his life. Because the truth is, doing these things will benefit you even more than it will him.