“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; “
Job descriptions give security. When you take a new job, it helps when the boss gives you a list of your responsibilities. The Pastor as well as all other church members have Biblical responsibilities in the church.
Only a pastor can fully realize all the pastorate requires.
The Scriptures give him many titles: Watchman on the wall, Bishop, Man of God, Minister, Evangelist, Prophet, Teacher, Shepherd, Overseer, Elder, Pastor, and Preacher. He may wear many hats throughout the week, such as: Counselor, Janitor, Soulwinner, Officiator at weddings, Administrator, Boss, Office Manager, Director of Youth, Music Director, Vacation Bible School Director, Camp Director, Father, Husband, Preacher, Teacher, Funeral Conductor, Bus Driver, and Financial Overseer. He is on call 24 hours a day.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE PASTOR
1 Timothy 1:12, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”
1 Timothy 3:2-7, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
3. Husband of one wife
5. Sober (serious)
6. Well behaved
8. A teacher
9. Sober, not a drinker of liquor
10. Content, not money-hungry
12. Peaceable, not one who gets into fights
13. Content, not covetous
14. Head of the home
15. Children in submission
16. Mature in the Lord
17. A good testimony.
Many pastors and television evangelists do not meet these requirements. A person does not become a preacher because he wants to. The pastor is divinely called by God.
Romans 10:15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
DUTIES OF THE PASTOR
1. Remind Christians of the truths they already know. 1 Timothy 4:6, “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.” Much preaching is not new teaching, but simply a reminder of things Christians already know.
2. Be an example. 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” An example simply shows how to do it. A pastor’s life should show how to live the Christian life.
3. Read, exhort, teach doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” The pastor is to read the Word to his people. He is to encourage them in their Christian life and teach them what is necessary to survive in the world today.
4. Man + Message = Ministry. 1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” The pastor needs to make sure both his life and teachings are correct.
5. Administer church discipline. 1 Timothy 5:20, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” The pastor is to make sure sin in the church is properly dealt with to keep the body of Christ healthy.
6. Be impartial. 1 Timothy 5:21, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” The pastor must treat all members with the same love and care. Many people cannot understand why the pastor cannot have his “favorites” or a “best” friend in the church.
7. Be pure. 1 Timothy 5:22, “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” His morals must be beyond reproach.
8. Flee evil. 1 Timothy 6:10-11, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
9. Follow. 1 Timothy 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
10. Fight. 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” The man of God must lead in the battles against sin and battles claiming new territory for God.
11. Endure hardness. 2 Timothy 2:3, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
12. Study. 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The pastor must allow ample time to study, prepare his heart, and listen for God’s message.
13. Avoid tangents. 2 Timothy 2:23, “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” The pastor must avoid “chasing rabbits” that can sidetrack him from his main business.
14. Preach the Word. 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
15. Be a soulwinner. 2 Timothy 4:5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
16. Be a pattern. Titus 2:7, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,”
MOSES-A TYPE OF PASTOR
Moses, the greatest leader in the Old Testament, was responsible for leading three and a half million Jews to the promised land.
Exodus 32:34, “Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.”
The heaviest burden Moses carried was the murmuring and complaining of God’s people. Moses was faithful in praying for the sins of his people. (See Numbers 14:5, 10:45, 20:6, and 21:7)
THE PASTOR’S PREACHING AND TEACHING
1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
Preaching transforms lives. It is teaching “set on fire.”
Isaiah 61:1, “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 12:41, “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”
Titus 1:3, “But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;”
Key activities in the church at Jerusalem were prayer, fellowship, and preaching! The word “power” mans dynamite in English. Dynamite fuses are lit under truthful preaching. Abraham Lincoln said that he liked to see a man preach like he was fighting bumblebees.
Thank God if you have a pastor who is bold in his preaching! John the Baptist condemned the king for living in adultery. Nathan said to David, “thou art the man.” Elisha asked the Baal worshipers, “how long halt ye between two opinions?”
Preaching styles may vary from man to man (by the way, the Bible never mentions women preachers!!) But the important thing is that he preach the Word. The most red-hot sermon in the Bible is when Jesus preached to religious hypocrites.
Matthew 23:13, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”
Matthew 23:15, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
Matthew 23:17, “Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?”
Matthew 23:24, “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
Matthew 23:25, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.”
Matthew 23:27, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
Matthew 23:33, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
What boldness Jesus had! He preached the truth fearlessly!!
HOW TO RESPOND TO PREACHING
Hebrews 4:2, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
Listening to the Word is not enough- we must obey and practice it.
Following are some suggestions to help you receive much from a message:
1. Pray for the pastor before church.
2. Prepare your heart to be in a listening attitude.
3. Ask yourself, “What is in this message for me? How can I apply it?”
4. Bring your Bible.
5. Take notes.
HOW TO TREAT THE PASTOR
1. Pray daily for him. 1 Timothy 2:1-3, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;” He is your authority. Pray for him. Charles Spurgeon was asked his secret for success. He opened a door in the floor of the platform and pointed to his deacons, who prayed for him during every service.
2. Obey him. Hebrews 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
3. Honor him. 1 Timothy 5:17, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” Think of ways to give him honor. Never call him by his first name.
4. Make sure he and his family are well taken care of. 1 Timothy 5:18, “For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.”
5. Never allow him to be criticized. 1 Timothy 5:19, “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.”
6. Do not criticize him. Numbers 12:1, “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”
God will correct His man if he needs it. When Saul was trying to kill David, David would not fight back. He knew Saul had been called of God. The Scripture says, “Touch not mine anointed,” and “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”
7. Encourage him. Exodus 17:12, “But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”
Every Pastor needs Aarons and Hurs to support his hands when he is weak. Kind notes, encouraging words and sweet surprises go a long way in keeping the pastor encouraged.
8. Do not waste his time. His time is so limited! Do not waste his time with trivials. Do not call him on the phone unless it is extremely important. If it can wait until church, let it wait.
It is not solely the business of the preacher to fill the church. The preacher is to fill the pulpit and the members are to fill the church.
Now that you know the pastor’s responsibilities, are you meeting your responsibilities toward your pastor?