Training Category: Shepherding Ministry
Sometimes in the Church we elevate pastors and other leaders, above everyone else. Is that biblical? Two points must be considered:
- Pastors are also sheep, members of the body, with responsibilities different from the rest of the sheep.
- Pastors are not the Chief Shepherd so we must be careful of placing them on a pedestal.
Implications of Pastors Also Being Sheep and Not the Chief Shepherd
Since pastors are not the head of the body, pastors must be careful of using phrases like “my church” when talking about the church. It is not their church. The sheep are not their flock. All belongs to the Chief Shepherd — Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 5:4), who is the Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15). Pastors and elders are to function as His assistants. Scripture designates only one Person to be the Head of the church, Jesus Christ.
Churches through the ages have divided because people have taken possession of that which only belongs to Christ. The church of Corinth was called worldly because of such attitudes (1 Cor. 3:1-11). Hierarchical structures find their origin in the world, not in God’s design for the Body. Remember that Jesus Himself said “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:25-28).
This does not mean the church is devoid of organization. Nor does it mean that the church shouldn’t have people with the responsibility of leading. Effective functioning requires knowing who is responsible for the accomplishment of various tasks. People need to be held accountable for doing their part. Organization and leaders, however, are there to serve and not to control. Power corrupts. Serving brings life.
(The above paragraphs are taken from the Shepherding Ministry Manual where it looks as pastoring as one of many venues in the Church where shepherding can take place.)
With all this in mind, let’s remember that we are to acknowledge and honor pastors for the work they do, holding them in high regard (1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13 ). But that is different from setting them above everyone else in the Body like they’re the spiritual elite. God says, “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor” (1 Cor. 12:32-33). From Christ “the whole body, joined and held together by EVERY supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph. 4:16). Everybody matters! Everybody has a part!
For more understanding of what the Bible says about pastors, go to: Shepherding Ministry Venue: Pastors