Purpose of this Session
Warnings are given to those who are called to exercise pastoral authority in the Body of Christ. The New Testament clearly defines practices that highlight false or poor ministers, and those with wrong motivations. The characteristics of true shepherds are also outlined for us.
i. Pastors must not be motivated by money, fleecing the sheep for their own gain. (1 Pet 5:2; 1 Tim 3:3)
ii. Pastors must not seek to extort money from the flock by subtlety or violence (2 Pet 2:3; John 10:1,9-10)
iii. Pastors must not seek worldly power, lording it over God’s people (Ezek 34:4; 1Pet 5:3;Luke 22:24-27). Although shepherds hold a place of authority in the household of God, they are called to serve the people.
Characteristics of poor shepherds are found in Ezekiel 34:1-10:
i. They feed themselves and not the flock.
ii. They exploit the sheep for their own comfort and gain.
iii. They do not care for the hurting and broken.
iv. They rule with cruelty and manipulation.
v. They scatter the sheep.
vi. They do not protect the sheep.
vii. They do not seek for the lost sheep.
True pastors (Ezekiel 34:11-16)
True pastors are absolutely necessary in the Body of Christ to bring the whole Body to maturity. The pastoral calling and anointing is awesome when it is conducted with the heart and mind of the True Shepherd, Jesus. As the people of God recognise their need for pastoral covering and direction, and willingly follow and support those who are given to them by Jesus for this purpose, the whole Body will be built up and come to a full knowledge of the love of Christ.
There is no indication that there should be one man or woman (the pastor) in a pre-eminent position in the church. However, Scripture is clear that shepherds will be raised and given to the Body by Jesus Christ for the edification and equipping of the people. Together with other gifts and ministries in the household of God, these pastors will play a key role in the well being of God’s people, and the fulfilment of His purposes in our generation.