God’s Non-Negotiables for Pastoring the Flock of God
- Guard and protect the flock. Acts 20:28
- Shepherd God’s flock, (serving as overseers) 1 Peter 5:1-4. We pastor the underpastors – Lifegroup leaders.
- Be examples to the flock, showing truthfulness and faithfulness. 1Tim. 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9
- Teach the Word of God. Heb. 13:7
- Keep watch over the sheep and lead with joy. Hebrews 13:17
- Seek out and restore lost sheep. Ezek. 34:1-6; Jesus goes after lost sheep.
- Equip saints for the works of service and ministry. Eph. 4:12
- Confer and bestow spiritual gifts to the flock. 1 Tim. 4:14
- Pray for the sick, anointing with oil. James 5:14,15
- Discern directions for the church through listening to the witness of the Holy Spirit in the church and scripture. Acts 15:1-23
- Announces Good News of the kingdom. Mark 1:14
- Disciples believers. Matthew 28:18-20
- Disciples rebels. Matthew 18. Done in and with the body members.
- We are first broken, bankrupt, sinners, saved by grace and filled with the Spirit who become disciples of Jesus, servants of the Lord and his body, who grow into the ministries of the gifts of God, grow into a measure of maturity and begin pastoring sheep out of our redeemed brokenness, our strength in weakness.
- We secondarily do administration, etc.
- We encourage and give guidance to staff; we do not micro-manage.
- All together with staff we cast the vision of outreach and powerful Spirit-filled community, edification and reconciliation.
- We live under the apostolic witness, learn from the witness of the Christian tradition of the last 2,000 years and listen for the Spirit’s leading from within our hearts and entire body of Christ.
Qualifications for Elders:
- The qualifications of elders – set out in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1 stress the character of the elder. Apparently there were two big problems in Ephesus: (a.) elders who did not teach “sound words” but rather dabbled in mythologies, I Timothy 4:1-5 (b.)elders whose character hadn’t matured. So the thrust of the pastorals as Paul addresses the issues there is on teaching sound words and good character. “Above reproach” does not mean perfect, but rather refers to “well thought of as a result of observable conduct” see I Timothy 5:17-widows, 6:14-widows. Perfect, elders “who have arrived” are a caricature of maturity and leadership! The unique qualification of elders over say deacons is “apt to teach.” I Timothy 3:2These qualifications are not complete; they are the teaching of an occasional letter to a specific church circumstance.
- Elders must not only have character, and be apt to teach, they must shepherd sheep. Good men who have no sheep are not made shepherds by ordination.
- They must have gifts and fruits of the Spirit to shepherd, lead, guide, encourage, rebuke and equip sheep. Ephesians 4:11-16.
- Elders are not voted in. They are prayed in. The church listens for God’s leading. The elders listen and weigh and discern the will of God. Few examples exist as to this process. Timothy is told to appoint elders, but we know that the Spirit and time will make clear who the shepherds are. “The sheep know their voice.” This process is not dictatorial; neither is it democratic. It is not the conclusion of opinions.
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