When Christ died on the cross, the veil of the Temple was tom in two (Matt 27:51). This signified that now there was no longer a need for the people of God to be represented by a human priest. Now all those who believe have direct access to God. The pastor’s ministry is to help lead people into a deeper relationship with the Lord.
B. Christ: The Model Pastor
The Church is a “theocracy” – a people ruled by God. God of ten refers to Himself as a Shepherd (Gen 49:24; Eze 34:12-14). He ministered to His people, Israel, as a Shepherd:
- He guided them (Ps 23:3).
- He fed them (Jer 50:19).
- He rested and watered them (Ps 23:2;Isa 40:11).
- He protected them (Ps 23:4).
- He called and gathered the strays (Isa 56:8;Zech 10:8).
- He carried the lambs in His bosom (Isa 40:11).
- He gently led those with young (Isa 40:11).
When Jesus came, He put a face on God. People could hear and see what their divine Shepherd was really like. Peter called Jesus the “Chief Shepherd” (1Pet 5:4). Jesus became the perfect model of the “shepherd-heart” of God. Shepherds working under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus, should carefully study the heart and motivation of the Chief Shepherd. Although our ministry is not the same as was the ministry of Jesus, many of our attitudes and motivations should resemble those of Jesus”.
Every pastor should have the shepherd-heart of Jesus:
- He had love and compassion for the people of God (Mark 6:34).
- He placed great value on each sheep (Luke 15:4).
- He was willing to lay down His life for the sheep (John 10:11,15).
Because of His love for the flock of God, Jesus was very concerned that they would have proper care when He was gone. Therefore, He gave “pastors” to shepherd His sheep in His absence (Eph 4:11-13).
Like all other elders in the church, every pastor is an under-shepherd. He is directly responsible to Jesus for his service to God’s people (l Pet 5:1-4). He must always look to Jesus as the good and great Shepherd for the direction and approval of his ministry. To be a pastor is a great responsibility; but it is also a noble and blessed calling!
C. The Standards For A Pastor
There are some specific standards for a pastor beyond those of an elder. We shall list them below:
- A pastor must be able to lead the sheep (John 10:4).
We can wisely and safely lead others only along paths on which we ourselves have gone before. The pastor must himself have a dose and proven walk with God before he can lead others in the ways of God.
If a pastor wants his people to pray, tithe, read the Word and reach out to others, he must set the example. He must live a lifestyle which the sheep can follow (1 Cor 11:1; Heb 13:7; 1 Pet 5:2, 3).
- A pastor must be able to feed the flock (Jer 3:15;23:4; Ezek 34:1-3;Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2,3).
A pastor can give only what he has got. To minister the Word of God, one must be in the Word – and the Word must be in him. This involves prayer, stud y, though t and obedience (application). The truth of God’s Word must be a t work in our own lives before it can be put into the life of another (Jer 10:21; Acts 6:4).