It does mean that when believers come together, the main purpose is not evangelism. Evangelism should occur through the witness of each member in their daily course of life. From such daily efforts of evangelism, God will raise up strong evangelistic ministries. And such are needed in today’s world; for, truly, the field is white and read y for harvest (John 4:35).
THE MINISTRY GIFT OF PASTOR
In Scripture, the people of God are often referred to as a flock of sheep (Isa 40:11; Jer 13:17; Matt 26:31; John 21:15; l Pet 5:2). In fact, sheep have many traits which remind us of new Christians learning to grow up in the Lord:
- They are totally dependent upon their shepherd (Gen 4:2; 1 Sam 17:20, 28).
Sheep must be led to pasture and water. They must be rested when weary, and healed when hurt. Their very lives depend upon the care of their shepherd.
- They have a very poor sense of direction (Ps 119:176; Isa 53:6; Jer 50:6; Ezek 34:12).
If sheep are left to themselves, they tend to wander off and get lost. As a rule, they cannot find their way home. The shepherd must search them out and bring them back to the fold.
They have very little means of defense (Matt 10:16; Num 32:24).
Sheep do not have sharp claws or teeth. They cannot run very fast. If left to themselves, they could not survive. They would soon fall prey to wild animals. They are safe only when brought together in a fold. They are truly dependent upon their shepherd for their protection.
Sheep do have some very fine qualities, however. They produce meat, milk and wool which provide food, drink and clothing. They have the ability to hear and follow their shepherd like no other animal.
God wants His people to show these same good qualities. He also knows our need to be led, fed and protected. Therefore, He has given to the Church the shepherd-like ministry of the “pastor”.
A. The Definition Of Terms
Poimen: The term refers to one who tends a flock or keeps sheep -a shepherd. It is a word used ten times of actual shepherds of sheep (Matt 9:36; 25:32; Mark 6:34; Luke 2:8, 15, 18, 20; John 10:2). It is used eight times of Jesus as the chief Shepherd (Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27; John 10:11, 12, 14, 16; Heb
13:20; l Pet 2:25). It is translated only once as “pastor” when referring to a person’s ministry in the church (Eph 4:11).
Poimaino: The term means to tend, keep, lead and feed the flock. It is twice used of actual sheep (Luke 17:7; l Cor 9:7). It is used once of Jesus as tending Israel (Matt 2:6). It is used to describe the care that the shepherds who are under the Great Shepherd, Jesus, should give to the flock (John 21:16, Acts 20:28; l Pet 5:2). It is used once of false shepherds who are interested only in feeding and caring for themselves (Jude 12).