The Perfect Pastor. How do you recognize the perfect pastor? What is your responsibility toward your pastor? These, among others, are questions which Peter addressed in the books of 1st and 2nd Peter.
1 The elders who are among you
I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of
Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not
by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor
as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the
flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown
of glory that does not fade away.
1 Peter 5:1-4, NKJV
In the passage shown above, Peter is speaking to those who shepherd the flock of God, the pastors who are our spiritual watchmen. He admonishes them in three areas:
1. Serve your flock willingly - not because you are forced to do so.
2. Do not serve for dishonest gain; not with the purpose of becoming rich.
3. Do not serve for the power it gives you over people.
Rather, pastors are to be examples to those over whom they serve; their service is to be a minister or servant to their flock. Their reward, then, is a crown of glory which will never pass away.
No pastor is perfect, of course, but Peter gives us a picture of a Shepherd who has a heart for God. In addition, we have the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. While He ministered on this earth He was actually the perfect Pastor!
What, then, is the responsibility of the flock? Do you find your own pastor to be lacking in the areas shown above? What are you to do? Encourage and pray for the pastor God has placed over you. Examine his teachings in light of the Scriptures; obey him where he is right, and encourage him to be faithful to the Bible in areas where he is not. Give him the respect for his position, understanding that he will have to give an account before God.
However, if you have a pastor who blatantly teaches ideas contrary to the Bible, and who refuses to change when admonished, you must seek out a pastor who is faithful to the Word of God. Your very soul is being threatened; Satan uses unfaithful pastors to lead people away from God.
Read the Bible, pray, and meditate upon God's Word; if you do not have an understanding of God's Word, you will not recognize a false shepherd. You and your family need to be under the care of a spiritual watchman who is faithful to God in his own spiritual walk and teaching.
We live in an amazing time when most of us have access to the Word of God. We are not left in the dark as to what God requires of us. And, for those who may not have the Word of God, if they have internet access there are a plethora of sites faithful to the Word of God.
Go, then, today. Encourage the one God has placed over you to shepherd the flock in which you are a part. Pray for your pastor, and do to not expect your pastor to be perfect. Only God is perfect!