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The True Example of a Shepherd

There are various descriptions of a pastor, but God is the original human resource Person who designed the position. Any additional pastoral assignments performed are added benefits to building God’s kingdom. Joseph Kidder stated that throughout the centuries, people viewed the role of pastor as servant caregivers who engage in:

  • Teaching/preaching of traditional doctrine;

  • Caregiving (such as visitation, counseling, and taking care of people’s needs);

  • Performing rites of passages (such as baptisms, wedding, and funerals);

  • Administrating (such as meetings, bulletins, programs);

  • Serving as ambassador of the church to the community.

Jesus is the true example of a shepherd. He had a servant’s heart. As the Son of God, He did not become human to be served, but to serve. He told the disciples that the greatest among them shall be a servant (Matthew 23:11). God’s intent for pastors is servant leadership. In Leading Like Jesus, Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodge stated, “For followers of Jesus, servant leadership isn’t an option; it’s a mandate.” The role of the pastor was never intended to be a glorified, self-seeking responsibility. God’s intention was self-sacrificing servants, who had tender hearts for His sheep.

Servant pastors are more people-driven versus program-driven. Servant pastors are compassionate versus competitive. Servant pastors teach biblical principles versus charismatic topics. Servant pastors remain faithful to God’s original plan for shepherds. Their desire and attraction to do more must have a proper balance, to remain Christ-seeking instead of self-seeking.

God’s call is not just bringing one’s aspiration and desires to a hurting society or community; but it means reconciling mankind back to Him. Some pastors may delight in this hard labor of love, and others may grow and experience real accomplishments; but there are many who find pleasure in meeting the needs of others which affirms their pastoral gifts and efforts. I conclude with Rev. Banks’ advice to new pastors:

Those ‘not sent but who just went’ can never experience the joy of having had a supernatural call into a supernatural ministry, or the joy of answering that calling, no matter how successful they may be from man’s point of view. The calling to the Christian ministry is one of grace.

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