BIBLE READING: JEREMIAH 3:15; EPHESIANS 4:11; TITUS 1:5-9
“This is a true saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, given to hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the Church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those that are outside; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3: 1-7(NKJV).
The word “bishop” in 1Timothy 3 is translated from the Greek word “episkopos”, which literally means “a superintendent that is a Christian officer in general charge of a church” or “overseer” as seen in the following Scripture:
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God which He purchased with His Own Blood.” (Acts 20:28).
They are also referred to as “Elders of the Church” (see Tit. 1:5-9). They all describe the Office of the Pastor which is the Office in the Five-fold Ministry with the primary responsibility of taking care of the flock of God.
A true shepherd does the following things for the flock under his care:
(1.) He feeds them.
(2.) He cares for them.
(3.) He protects them.
(4.) He guides them.
That is what a pastor does for the Church he is overseeing. A sheep without a shepherd is not safe likewise a Christian without a pastor is skating on very thin ice. So many Christians have backslidden today and some are in danger of going to hell because they lack the ministry of a genuine pastor in their lives i.e., one who like Apostle Paul is always quick to say “for I do not seek yours but you (2Cor.12:14b).
The Bible refers to God’s people as sheep because the sheep is the only animal that has no inherent defense mechanism or biological means of protection i.e., no claws, no prominent horns, no sharp teeth, no venom or sting etc. Their only protection is in their shepherd. They flock together under the ministry, leading and protection of the shepherd. If you are a child of God, then you must have a shepherd. Find him and stay under his ministry faithfully. There may be many preachers but there are relatively few good pastors.
Genuine pastors are not very easy to find which is why you should appreciate God if you have one. This is so important because you will never know the importance of having a genuine shepherd until you are being pastored by a wolf. You should also appreciate your pastor and pastors generally because of the sensitivity and importance of the work they do.
Ask God to lead you to the pastor or shepherd He has prepared for you if you don’t have one already. If you have one, then make the most of the Ministry Gift that God has given you. They may not be perfect but they will have most of the qualities described in the Scriptural passages listed above.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of good pastors. We ask You to preserve them and give them grace to faithfully carry out the assignment You have given to them. Help us identify the ones You have sent to us and that we may always appreciate the Gift of an authentic pastor in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.