Purpose of this Session
As an authority in the household of God, placed by God, the shepherd must carry the same character qualities as any other elder in God’s family. Indeed the shepherd’s heart and the pastoral anointing is something that is expected of all elders.
The five-fold gift will also display developed qualities in the following areas:
i. Pastors within a congregation will love and lead the sheep (John 10:4; Isa 40:10-11)
• Pastors lead by example, not lording it over God’s heritage, but living lives that show a pattern to be followed. (1 Pet 5:3; Heb 13:7; 1Cor 11:1). Charisma is not the qualifying attribute but character.
• Pastors will know their sheep, they will not be aloof but have personal contact with them, and the sheep will know and trust them (Jn 10:3,27)
• Pastors will minister healing to the flock, and seek out that which is hurting or driven away (James 5:14; Jeremiah 23:1-4; Luke 15:4)
ii. Pastors within a congregation feed and nurture the sheep (Jer 23:4; 1 Pet 5:2-3; Acts 20:28; Ezekiel 34:11-16)
• Pastors will be constantly seeking out nourishing revelation in the Word of God to give spiritual food to the flock, and bring application of the principles of God to the lives of the called out company of believers (Psalm 23), ministering directly from the Word of life into the lives of the people they are entrusted by Jesus to care for.
iii. Pastors within a congregation will protect the sheep
• Pastors will guard the sheep from impostors and deceivers (John 10:11-13; Hebrews 13:17)
• Pastors will lay down their lives for the sheep and not flee when danger presents itself but protect the flock (John 10:15). The well being of the sheep will be placed before his/her own life and ministry.
iv. Pastors will always be on the look out for sheep not yet in the fold (Luke 15:4; Luke 19:10; John 10:16)
v. Pastors within a congregation exercise governmental authority, overseeing the flock, and correcting those who walk contrary to the gospel (Psalm 23:4; Matt 18:15-20; 2 Tim 2:23-26; 1 Tim 4:16)
• Where necessary pastors will bring correction and rebuke
• Pastors will be able to use the Word to bring proper alignment and correct those who walk contrary to the truth.
•Pastors will recognise that they are undershepherds, entrusted with the care of Jesus’ sheep and accountable to Him.