The work of the Pastor has never been so important as it is today. As I search the scriptures for the expectation of God for anyone in the pastoral calling, I came across a passage in Jeremiah 17:16. It says: “As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee.”
the calling of the pastor, like other spiritual offices, is geared towards perfecting the saints…
John G Lake’s exposition puts it this way: “I did not run or hastened, I am not in a rush to be a pastor to you.” Too many people are in a rush today to become pastors of churches, not fully understanding the ramifications, the complexities of this calling and how very important and demanding it is.
In the New Testament, Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesian church, stated that the calling of the pastor, like other spiritual offices, is geared towards perfecting the saints, doing the work of the ministry, and edifying the body of Christ to the end that we all come to the:
…unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph 4:11-15).
Such a lofty and divine assignment cannot be achieved without the help of God.
Too many people are devoted to things that are temporal rather than matters of eternal value. This is where the pastor comes in.
The pastor must be of God before he can do the work of God. He needs salvation just like the people he’s preaching and ministering to. We are in the last days, the world is downplaying spirituality while promoting carnality. This makes our days such a dangerous time even for Christians because of the possibility of being carried away by happenings around us like the days of Noah. Scripture makes us understand that we are in perilous time (2 Timothy 3:1). In Noah’s days, majority of the people missed what God was saying because of their hardened hearts. They were all set in their ways and there was only one preacher of righteousness warning them. Not very different from today, though there are multitudes of ministers, pastors and preachers. Now, the love of people is not just waxing cold, it is non-existent. Too many people are devoted to things that are temporal rather than matters of eternal value. This is where the pastor comes in.
God said he will “give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15).
balance between messages that promote salvation of souls and edification of saved souls.
Pastors must preach according to the mind of God who sent them. The mind of God is that people be saved; that saved people be perfected and become heavenly-minded. Therefore, the pastor would have to balance between messages that promote salvation of souls and edification of saved souls. There needs to be a careful and consistent preaching in the area of loving God more than mammon; looking unto God more that our goods and the consciousness of the lostness of man and the need of a Savior, as we look forward to the coming of the Lord.
…what would Jesus be talking about now if He was physically ministering on earth?
Today’s preacher-pastors need to also carefully consider and preach, like Noah, that preacher of righteousness, the needed warning of God to this disobedient generation.
Pastors need to remind us of these 8 truths:
- Conditions of our time – there’s an atmosphere of spiritual lethargy, coldness and lukewarm attitude everywhere. This is against God’s will for us (Revelation 3:16-16).
- Carefulness (personal watchfulness) and greater consideration for truth, rather than falsehood (Proverbs 23:23).
- Critical examination of our lives (walking in the light) (2 Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 5:8)
- Commitment to God and His word (Psalm 119:16, 65,67) – tell people to read the word of God and take their examples from it not from the world around them.
- Contentment in Christ and condemnation of worldliness (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
- Character building in all godliness – promotes fruit of the spirit – love joy (Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9)
- Casting all cares on God and readiness for heaven (1 Peter 5:7)
- Consequences of disobeying God and His word (soul’s eternity in heaven or hell, depending on decisions made for or against Christ) (Psalm 9:17; 16:10)
Pastors MUST pause, think about the ministry of Christ on earth, and ask the important question: what would Jesus be talking about now if He was physically ministering on earth?
That would make their job a little easier. Jesus was very focused from the beginning of His ministry. In Luke, we see that Jesus was:
…anointed to preach the gospel to the poor; sent to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4:18)
Lots of people are in captivity today. Jesus came to set people free from the bondage of sin, sickness and loss of purpose in life.
The church today must preach vigorously about the kingdom of God, the joy therein and how to be a candidate of the kingdom.
Jesus talked more about the blessedness of God’s kingdom than anything else. The church today must preach vigorously about the kingdom of God, the joy therein and how to be a candidate of the kingdom. In my father’s house, there are many mansions, Jesus said in John 14. We must learn how to point sinners and everyone to our Father, who art in heaven. We also must not forget to remind the hardened hearts that this God of greater love is also capable of casting souls into hell if they refuse His offer of salvation.
Finally, the need to fear God must be central to all that the pastor preaches: “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12:5)
Dr. Akin Adeniyi is Pastor of Deeper Life Bible Church in St. Paul, MN and is the Region Overseer of DLBC Churches in Central Region II. Deeper Life Bible Church is a part of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry in Nigeria.