The meaning of the word “pastor” simply means “Shephard” or feeder“.
Jeremiah the prophet observes the office of a pastor and puts it this way: “And I will give you according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jere. 3:15). Jeremiah the prophet did not stop there hence he went further to say: “And I will set up shepherds over them which feed them” (Jere. 23:4).
The prophet Jeremiah’s understanding of a pastor.
Judging from the above standpoint of Jeremiah, this major prophet views a pastor or “pastoral duties” from a spiritual viewpoint. He sees a pastor as something that is not earthly nor fleshly. He views it as something ordained from above (heaven). He sees a divine duty occasioned by God himself.
He sees the office of a pastor as a divine office and the pastor himself as divinely chosen by God himself. There is no element of freshness or carnality in this ecclesiastical office. The phrase “I will give you pastors….” This means that not everybody should be called up by God as a pastor. Only people divinely chosen are called to man this ecclesiastical office. Probably this is the only place in the Old Testament where the word “pastor” is used. The word occurs more in the new testament than in the old testament probably borrowing from the language of Jeremiah.
There is one irony about the word “pastor” when used in everyday language amongst the secularists and fundamental people who may see anybody addressed as pastor as a common and down-trodden person. Somebody addressed as a pastor is looked down upon. A person of the low estate is and is considered that way, especially in Nigeria’s context where money is much considered and regarded more than human beings. I know that without human beings who will work and make the money. In Nigeria’s context, the contrary has become the case. Money is all thing and the ultimate.
In Nigeria, a pastor is ridiculed and fabricated in all ramifications. They are seen as people who are dropouts. As people who could not make it in a secular circle which prompted they’re coming into the ministry only to answer pastors. Even their fellow Christians, the people they are shepherding equally regard them so.
Many pastors I know have even hidden their identity because of the derogatory nature of that title.
I know of a Christian lady who used to teach biblical Archaoloty in one of the leading seminaries in Nigeria.
This lady would come to the class to teach her students but would embark on lacerating these student pastors with her tongue that they are nothing and this later turned out to be her tradition. Her reasons are that she sees pastors as common people who have no future. She sees pastors as people who cannot be raised to the echelon in society.
To her, a pastor cannot hold any responsible political post in society. She has a master’s degree in her chosen field, a pastor can hardly reach the Zenith top. Her annoyance is that pastors in various churches she attended helped to frustrate and thwart her marriage courtships owing to her prideful and supercilious nature.
The most prevailing and ravaging problem for a Nigerian pastor is his marriage. His future marriage is always bleak. Only infinitesimal few ladies in Nigerian society will agree to marry pastors. If you interview one hundred ladies in Nigeria about whether they will like to marry pastors, believe me, only about 2 to 5 can answer in the affirmative. These 2-5 that answered in affirmative will then tell you the status of those pastors they would want to marry because of their rapacious and anomie sort of life. A Nigerian pastor will approach more members will ever sound positive. They feel that a pastor has no future. His future is bleak and obliterated. Talk of marring a pastor, her fellow ladies will just call her all sorts of names and laugh her to scorn. These are some perils Nigerian pastors face in terms of marriage.
I met a young lady in one of the leading seminaries in Nigeria whose student she was and interviewed her product of that school. This was a girl that was a student and product of that school. This was a girl that was pursuing her “diploma programme” and this is an institution that awards even doctorate degrees. The lady boldly answered me that she would never marry anybody who was schooled there. That she prefers somebody with secular degrees to sacred degrees. And this is a lady who says she has been called by God to be a pastor or evangelist. Look at her mannerism and access her spirituality and the things Nigerian pastors suffer.
The bible says that “From their fruits, you shall know them”. At a glance, a Nigerian pastor is poverty-stricken as he is almost not paid anything no matter how many degrees he has laboured to acquire. In a country that is blessed with mineral resources but because of squandermania, by myopic few who are not patriotic, coupled with the estrangement of the self-called church leaders in Nigeria, a pastor hardly eat two square meals a day. just look at his shoes, they have worn down and he does not have any money to buy another because of poverty. Approaching a lady for marriage, the lady sees the approach as an insult and slight on her side by a “common pastor”. As they are always called, approaching her for marriage because I am a member of his church. Nigerian pastors are always financially bereaved and as such, they find it difficult to make any headway.
In 1993 when I was doing my first-degree course, a member of our class told us how a pastor was being paid the sum of N85,00 (eight five nairas) as his monthly salary. The whole atmosphere was charged with laughter and this became a subject matter in the class for the whole of that semester. That is the place and position of Nigeria’s pastors.
I have heard many people who do not believe that there is anything like God, calling people to hold his office. For that such people make a mockery of somebody whose future is not rosy. They ask: “how does God call people?” “if God has called them, why should that God allow them to be in this type of financial mess?”. Other questions are being asked by people who doubt or who do not believe that God calls people these days to serve Him. Probably most of the pastors these people have come across are people who are not truly called. A truly serving pastor in the ecclesiastic office of God must be divinely chosen and called for the services of the Lord.
Because God attaches much importance to the calling of His ministers, look at how God uses different names to address them. He calls them “messengers to go before his face”. “watch-man of the walls of Zion”, “Workmen that need not be ashamed”, “Witnesses for the truth”, “Teachers”, “Pastor”, “Shepherds”, “Evangelists”, “A minister of Christ”, “A steward of the mysteries of God”, “A prophet unto all nation”, “Ambassadors of Christ”.
These expressions show how God values the task He has given to this class of people. In this vein, some other men and women have their divine responsibilities to shoulder. The most important part of this divine calling is the wealth of the individuals which should be committed to this divine task for the interests and benefit of God’s kingdom right here on earth and the emancipation and salvation of men. As I highly pointed out earlier in this discourse, even though the work of a pastor or servant is something that is being communized especially in Nigeria, the authentically divinely called pastor should feel proud and bold in his calling as his crown awaits him from his maker who has called him into that divine office.
A non-called person should not senselessly and absurdly engage himself into the office that is ecclesiastical as he will make a shipwreck of the business of the Lord. This is “a (divine) ministry received from God” (2 Cor. 4:1). This is not like the secular job himself. So many had been called even right from God himself. So many people had been called even right from their childhood days and must not make shipwreck of the business of God.
We see somebody like Jeremiah complaining to God that he was a child. The Almighty God reminded him that he should not say that he was a child. Hear God: “Say not, I am A child, for thou shall go to all that I shall send thee and whatever I shall command thee thou shall speak. Be not afraid of their face, for I am with thee, saith the Lord” (Jere. 1:7-8).
People who are not called should not enter into the ministry of God to avoid causing havoc as this is what we are seeing today around us. There must be a command from the chief shepherd, that is, Christ Himself. Christ commanded peter to shepherd the sheep. Nobody should ever take the office of God without God calling that person. We have seen many ambassadors from many nations of the world and none of them appoints himself but must be called by the president, king or Emperor. In the same manner, it is God that should call one to take up the mantle of this calling.
A preacher does not have anything to preach unless he is sent to preach. Hear God again: “How shall they preach except they are sent?’. A preacher must wait to be sent by God where he should preach. Experience has shown that people who rush into the ministry without God’s calling in their lives have made things difficult for those who are really and automatically called to serve God. And in no distance time, the uncalled minister will hear the Lord saying to him, “I sent them not, nor commanded them, therefore they shall not profit this person at all, said the Lord” (Jere. 23. 23:32). This may even prove why people are not called to do whatever thing they are doing. And it is they that make too much noise and shoulder-robbing in churches and make shipwreck of the business of the Lord. Stan at times uses them to frustrate the authentically called men of God. We know that satan capitalizes on any loophole given to him at any given time.
Satan uses them to achieve this objective. The uncalled people are always envious of those who are called of God as the called people are always endowed with spiritual charisma that will give them a breakthrough in the ministry, unlike the uncalled man who will be toiling for years without making any impact and inroads in what he has embarked upon. He will now resort to envying those who are called and are making it. Criticism against those who are called now becomes the watchword of a non-called person in the ministry. When a miracle happens through the truly called man God, the miracle God has brought through his servant that charm and black magic have taken their presence in the ministry of that man. That is the spirit that envelopes the uncalled people in the ministry. The Spirit of envy overtakes them for lack of spirituality.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, without mincing words, has this to say of Saul who was called to serve in the ecclesiastical office of God, “He is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings” (Acts 9:15). A called man of God is called even when he was in the womb of his mother. Calling of one by God is never man-made nor can frustration and hardship signify one’s calling into the office of God. The first Christian theologian, paul, wisely marshalled out some important gifts one can function within the ecclesiastical office of God . the first Christain theologian, paul, wisely marshalled some prophets and some prophets and, evangelists, and some, pastors, and teachers” (Eph. 4:11). Even though in the life and ministry of a called minister, periods of turmoils, tempests, discouragements, disillusionment and frustrations will set into his life, but he should uphold the view of the first theologian, paul, and say, “Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the God the Father” (Gal. 1:1).
We should not be recalcitrant when we have received the call of God. We must not allow those who are not called to determine for us as long as God’s divine calling and appointment is concerned. At times we see the uncalled people backing up their outlandish views with one or two Bible quotations to outwit the called man. The called man should not submit to the will of uNcalled people in the name of “thus said the Lord”. Let them sure and pout at the man of God. The called people should not be discouraged. They should not wallow in the dark. They should not allow themselves to miss the mark. It will be awful to say, “I have missed my mark in the ministry”. This will be dangerous and devastating in their lives.
THE PASTOR AS A SERVANT
The pastor As a servant must be seen in the light of his relationship to his fellow Christians and people in general. This shows a person who renders services to other people. We see this word being used by Christ Himself when He says, “I am among you as one who serves” (LK. 22:27). Paul, the first Biblical theologian, calls himself a bondservant or what is generally understood as a slave of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:1).
Servanthood is what is obtainable in true Christianity as Christ who is the Head of the Church first demonstrated this act of servanthood which every other Christain, especially the pastor must imbibe this idea of servanthood. Christ who is God Himself did not come to be served by others, rather He came that He might serve others not minding His status and by so doing He gave His life as a ransom for many (Mk. 10:45). Christ, demonstrated this by washing the legs of His disciples which shows that His followers should know how to serve one another (Jn. 13:1-17). In this vein, not that the present-day pastor should carry water and start washing the legs of his members or people he comes in contact with, rather this is another way of expressing and showing humility to others. Then, the pioneers of the faith, Paul and Peter, quite understood this as early church leaders applied this and followed the track record of Christ in their ministerial days (1 Cor. 3:5: 1Tim. 4:6; 1:12; 1 Pt. 5:5). Two mighty preachers of the early church, Stephen and Philip demonstrated this attitude of servanthood (Acts 6:1-6).
When we want to render service and if we want our services to be acceptable, then we must render it in the spirit of humility. This attitude of humility must be expressed without looking back or reservation if the ministry and church of Christ should grow. This should be the general view of all Christians especially pastors as the sheep are entrusted into their care by God. If we want to be true followers must be clothed with the apron of humility to our fellow human beings especially to our fellow Christians in the household of God.
A called pastor has a distinct ministry to perform from the rest of other ministries (Eph. 4:11). Other ministries may be exercised on a larger scale which may benefit the body of Christ as a whole. The pastor’s responsibilities may be confined to one particular Church. The reputation of a specialist is completely distinguished in his ministry as he only concerns himself with local issues.
Whenever God places a pastor that is where he should be and be part and member of that church. The pastor is responsible to them as he is to God a servant unto God, a pastor should not at any time leave his church and members owing o financial difficulties or other reasons of personal interest. He should compare himself with his father in the family who should never abandon his family when things get rough. That is the position a pastor should see himself occupying. If there is any change in the leadership in the church, this should be done in an orderly arranged manner. It should be in a smooth form.
The new pastor should be the type that also knows how to gather souls and never the opposite. If there is any change or transition in the church, then the handing over should be prepared and done in an orderly arranged manner and to the full knowledge of the church. This should never be done in isolation in the course of doing this, the flock of God should never be left to scatter or left without being fed. This may make the sheep become weak or sick or frustrated and may even die in the process or go to the wrong place for refuge.
A pastor as a servant of God must do everything within his reach to establish rapport with the members of the church. A shepherd who shepherds sheep knows his sheep all by their names. So a pastor should know the disposition of his members and in the same manner that is how his members should also be in close watch over their pastor. He sees to the spiritual needs of his members, leading them to Christ, baptizing them, wedding them, dedicating their children to God when born, and must bury them when they die. His members must come with their spiritual and physical problems and other burdens of heart which they may not want to share with other people, even their relations. The pastor belongs to his members as he is always in constant touch with them from day to day.
The post of a pastor is never held because one wants to make a big name. it is the calling of the Lord that fashions a pastor. A pastor should bear in mind that to be a pastor in biblical days was more or less a menial job. This assignment was given to the youngest son or one of the daughters of the family (1 Sam. 16:11). This is a job that has to do with wearisomeness and thanklessness no matter what the pastor does to his members. If we consider the case of Moses, it is a humiliating and humbling charge to become a shepherd because he was brought up in King’s palace. To the Egyptians, to be a shepherd was an abomination to him (Gen. 46:34). One should have at the back of one’s mind that the job of a pastor is not one’s own choice but is accepted because of the calling of the Lord.
THE QUALITIES OF A SERVANT
We must understand the fact that the way certain words are used in the secular world may not be the same as they are used biblically. At times we see some words being over flogged in religious quarters while in the secular world they are used quite differently. A servant ought to work according to the stipulated guidelines of his master. He must not go beyond the stipulations of his master. We can then summarize a servant in the following mannerisms:
- A servant is bound to do whatever he is told to do by his superior.
- A servant is a personal or domestic attendant who performs duties for the person in the home of his mater.
- A servant works under a specific direction.
- A servant is a subordinate who acts for his masters
- A servant helps one in practical ways.
- A servant takes proper care of the affairs or property of another.
We have seen some of the characteristics a servant should possess without mincing words. A servant must therefore possess the above characteristics and where he fails to measure up fine as regards the above qualities, he has then fallen short of what a servant ought to be. We must in this vein say that a servant should be helpful to his master. A servant must give an account of his stewardship. A servant must give an account of his master. He must always be useful to his master. Faithfulness must be the watchword of a servant to his master. A servant who possesses the above qualities is a good servant indeed and his master will not want to eave him owing to behaviour or.
THE PASTOR AS A PREACHER AND EVANGELIST
THE PASTOR AS A PREACHER
A pastor is a divinely called person to preach the good tiding to the entire mankind. He is righteousness. He preaches to the broken-hearted people to have peace, solace and succour. It is God Himself who selects the preacher who sneaks his mind. They are divinely chosen instruments of God. It is a divine work they will accomplish for the Lord. It is God that prepared a called pastor. Those not called are always not prepared and they make shipwrecks of the whole thing. An authentically called pastor is a divinely chosen instrument. We read, and no man taketh this honour himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron” (Heb. 5:4 KJV). “… not of men, who, but by Jesus Christ, and God the father, who raised him from the dead” (Gal. 1:1 KJV). One may desire to work for the church, or the church may desire to employ somebody to work for them. A church leader may even decide to employ only his relations as pastors in his church, this is not the calling of God. This is self-aggrandisement and self-called and self-glorification and lack of biblical support.
A PASTOR IS A CHRIST-COMMISSIONED PREACHER
One quickly observes how Jesus Himself gave all His true preachers a personal call as He did to Peter, John, and Paul. This is the unity of the second person in the Trinity and the first in choosing those He wishes to hold this ecclesiastical office.
THE PASTOR MUST BE A SPIRIT-ENDORSED PREACHER.
It is the spirit of God that determines who should function where he should function in the vineyard of God. The Holy Spirit knows everybody’s disposition and knows where he can fit in better. We read: “…the Ho-ly Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2 KJV). The Spirit calls according to one’s ability and the spirit as well knows the areas of one’s operation and where one can do exploits for the Lord.
When we say that something is divine, that means that things have to do with God. When we say that a pastor or preacher is divinely qualified, that means he has been separated from worldly entanglements owing to his divine calling. He then trusts God and also has a big heart for him. The Bible records:
“Who also hath make us able minister of the new testament, not of the letter, but the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Cor. 3:6 KJV).
A divinely called and qualified preacher leans on God for everything about him. He does not rely on his efficacy, but rather trusts and leans on God every time. A divinely qualified pastor is a fisher of men and this he must always endeavour to do.
A PASTOR-PREACHER PREACHES THE GOSPEL
One quickly notices that the Bible’s definition of the word gospel is: “the power of God unto salvation”. In this direction, no fractional gospel should be preached. A preacher who misses holiness has completely omitted the most important part of the Lord’s commissioning ministry. Paul the apostle in marshalling out and applying the minister’s calling to his own life authentically states that preaching includes the forgiveness of sin of people and the privilege of receiving the inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in Christ (Acts 16)
All the apostles in the scriptures were faithful to their commission, preaching and writing the gospel of absolute deliverance from sin, through faith in Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A PASTOR-PREACHER MUST BE A HOLINESS PREACHER
A preacher whose message does not embody holiness which is the epitome of biblical doctrine has completely misfired and lost the mark. Holiness means loyalty to God and His authority. A preacher who preaches the impossibility of holiness wants to convert those who will sink with him in the hellfire. Nobody should listen to such preachers. Rather we should protest against them. Expose their insanity and nudity to members of the public so that they can convert their advance into retreat.
THE PASTOR AS AN EVANGELIST
At times the gift of pastorship and evangelism may be hyphenated gifts all working to achieve a particular aim. That aim is nothing but how to win souls to Christ and His Kingdom. People of various ideas have argued that a pastor may not at the same time be an evangelist. Take an evangelist to a big congregation, in no distance time he scatters the church. This has been the prevailing view of many preachers.
But one who is properly trained both in education and spiritual things must know to enhance those gifts as these gifts at times can be hyphenated and if properly channelled can yield desired results.
A pastor should see himself as a pastor evangelist all at a time. These two gifts ought to be put together to do exploits for the saviour. A pastor must know the method of personal evangelism and mass evangelism. The heuristic approach will show us that Christ on whose “farm” we are planting used these two methods of evangelization during His earthly ministry. A pastor should also apply the same methods which his Master adopted during His tenure of office while on earth.
THE EXAMPLES OF CHRIST
A cursory look into the Bible will show us that Christ had an objective after which He patterned His life, which is the salvation of men. Read this: “For the son of men is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them….” (Lk. 9:56). This is a wise saying that everyone must accept without inhibition, that Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief (1Tim. 1:15). This wise observation was made by Paul himself. In our enthusiasm to search for keys to church growth, we must adopt the methods and systems of Christ as we go by His steps. We see Jesus throughout the entire Gospels preaching the Good News in every nook and cranny during His earthly ministry. If we methodically and systematically observe the methods Christ adopted in His ministry, he adopted personal and mass evangelization strategies and a pastor must know these and apply them to his style or pattern.
If we should carefully scrutinize the Bible, we would find out that Christ after making an account of “one–on–one” contact with people during His death ministerial days, oftentimes approached people and they also reciprocated by reapproaching Him. About 25 such incidents occurred in the New Testament, 21 of which happened on different occasions which were separate from mass evangelism (MK. 1:16; Jn. 3:1-2, Jn. 4:7, Mt. 8:2, Jn. 9:1, Lk. 19:3).
These are some of the personal contacts Christ made with people which people also in turn made with Him. A pastor should follow the examples of Christ in His evangelism.
A pastor reading of the book of Acts will reveal that there are about 15 occasions where the Nine of which were initiated by the apostle. Seven of these were not coupled in at all with mass evangelism (Acts 8:27-28, Acts 9:10-11, Acts 10:5, Acts 16:29). The pioneers of this missionary, the apostles, practised the personal evangelistic method. A pastor, doing evangelistic work must practice what his predecessors did.
We have seen the type of personal evangelistic method Christ employed in His ministry which a pastor should also avail himself of. The same thing applies to christ’s mass evangelism which a pastor should imbibe.
On many occasions, Christ proclaimed the message of the kingdom to a teeming crowd in the city and countryside, on the mountains and by the seashore, as they thronged by Him (Mt. 11:7, Lk. 5:15). A pastor should as well adopt the method of the mass evangelistic crusade which his Master introduced and used.
This is the first mass evangelism that was carried out by the apostles in their ministerial days. We see Peter as the spokesman on Pentecost Day addressing and preaching to quite a good number of people. It was on that same day that the church was inaugurated hence the Holy Ghost fell on them all on that day and they all spoke in different languages (Acts 2:6). That was the inception of the Church. A pastor as an evangelist must follow the examples of those pioneers. Almost all the apostles used the method of mass evangelism in their ministry (Acts 6:10, Acts 8:8:5, Acts 13:45-48), as laid down by Christ.
We see that others did preach to the multitudes of people the message of Jesus Christ the Saviour (Acts 5:14, Mk. 16:20, Acts 5:12). Those who were evangelized participated in the evangelization of others.
THE EXAMPLES OF THE APOSTLES
With the supernatural ability that the apostles had, they followed the footsteps of their Master. They commanded and directed the life of the early churches because they followed the patterns of their caller, Christ (Mk. 16:15, Lk. 24:47). The apostles went everywhere evangelizing in an ever-widening circle beginning from Jerusalem, according to the word of Jesus, then reaching to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 8:4). They also used two different methods; personal and mass evangelism. A pastor, as an evangelist, should follow the same methods the pioneers of the Christian faith adopted.
THE PASTOR AS PREACHER AND ADMINISTRATOR
(HE MUST BE A CONVICTING PREACHER)
The pastor as a preacher must always proclaim and declare the message of God. He magnets people like magnetron hence people are drawn to God through him. There is a “Divine battery” within him that helps him prickle the heart of many by the electric currents of divine truth. These electric currents of divine truth will then help him cry out salvation unto people. He must preach the fructification of the saviour. He must preach the resurrection of the saviour. Repentance must always proceed out of the mouth of a preacher. He must preach forgiveness of sins to his hearers if they repent. The doctrine of sanctification must not lack in its mouth. He must preach a sanctification message so that people will weep for their sins and become sanctified and live for God. The eschatological royal return of the messiah which is inevitable must always proceed out of his mouth. How Christ is at the right hand of His father interceding for the entire universe must be his track record. Whether men believe in the existence of the heavenly Kingdom and hell or not, a pastor-preacher is duty-bound to preach it to people. All these important issues must not elude the mouth of a pastor-preacher as he must be a preacher of righteousness. He must use all available resources within his reach to destroy the power of sin and satan.
THE PASTOR MUST BE A DEVOTED PREACHER
A pastor disengages himself from all the entanglements that will make him not devote himself to the work he has been divinely chosen to do. All social activities of the word will distract his attention to Carry on the business of his Master. Political or any secular thing should not distract his attention as not to sell his conscience to the devil. Where he finds himself in tentmaking a venture the gospel preaching must be the harbinger, while other things become secondary. The tent-making venture helps him reach those who could otherwise not have been reached. This separation from the world is very important as a pastor. A minister can play bipolar life but must concentrate more o his divine assignment.
A PASTOR MUST BE TRUSTED
We know that people go to people they confide in them. You do not go to people you do not trust. A pastor falls into the category of trusting as people will always confide in him. God himself also trusts a truly called minister as God would not want to deal with people who will disappoint Him. A pastor is an attested person God and people will trust. God trusts them that His sheep entrusted into their hands are not devoured by the enemy. The pastor keeps the ball rolling as he protects the sheep of God. We read from the Biblical account: “But even as we have been approved of God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God which proveth or hearth (Thess. 2:4). This is the status of a minister trusted by His call to bear his banner.
We read: “but we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherished her son”. God, Himself is gentle and he wants pastors who are equally gentle and alive to their dispositions and dealings as this is tHe spirit of their master. As spiritual mothers and fathers, they watch over the people God has entrusted into their hands.
A PASTOR AS AN ADMINISTRATOR
God, being an orderly being always would want His work to be properly organized. Good administration ensures good management. To win souls to God is the greatest business one can ever embark upon in his world as this is not an easy task. We see this first, biblical theologian, Paul, admonishing the Roman church that they should not be “slothful in business” (Rom. 12:11). If a pastor wants to accomplish the work of God, all his deeds must conform to the biblical leadership style. In this vein, the administrative policy of a pastor should baes on the word of God. When the pastor has administratively conducted himself, motivation will come into play. There is no how a pastor can create nice motivation without proper administration.
A pastor, with his good administrative ability, will have a product. This fruit comes as a result of correct administration. A pastor-administrator should know that as his church enlarges, he should delegate authority to other people within the church of the managerial responsibilities for easy cohesion.
PASTOR AS AN ADMINISTRATOR AND LEADER
A pastor of administration, he should deem it fit to understand the flexibility of man. The organization of that group determines how they should behave. As an organizer of a group, he sh into consideration. A pastor, as an administer and leader, should have at the back of his mind that a group should be organized in line with the patterns of human behaviour and should be managed by a leader whose style of leadership and management synchronizes with the behaviour of that very group. Studying human temperaments will help him a lot to understand people and their behaviour patterns
THE PASTOR AS A SPIRITUAL LEADER
Leadership has received many interpretations. That notwithstanding, leadership is more or less an influence, the ability of somebody to influence other people. There is every tendency that one man can only lead others to the extent one can lead them. Some of the definitions of leadership in secular usage are as follows;
“Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common confidence”.
Another definition goes thus:
“A leader is a man who knows the road, who stays ahead and who can pull others after him”.
“There are only three kinds of people in the world, those that are movable, those that are immovable and those that move them”.
These are some of the secular observations and definitions of leadership. There is an element of truth in these definitions and observations of the secularists as a pastor is a spiritual leader who will move, lead and move people in his spiritual capacity.
In the case of spiritual leadership, this is a mixture of natural and spiritual abilities and qualities. A leader who knows and understands God will know that even natural abilities are never man-made something, rather they is God’s gifts and endowment and this if properly utilized will help one achieve the highest potentials that will give God glory. The above quotations given earlier are mainly for natural leadership. Even though spiritual leadership may not do without some parts of the above quotations, spiritual leadership is quite different from natural leadership.
The difference in spiritual leadership is that it influences others not by the power of one’s personality, but by that personality being empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. When we allow the full measure of the Holy Spirit to control our lives, the power of the spirit will then flow through us to other people.
In essence, we must say that spiritual leadership is more or less a spiritual power, and in this direction, we cannot say that spiritual power is a self-produced or a man-made issue. Nobody can ever call himself a self–made spiritual leader. If this happens, the person will in no distance time make a shipwreck of the whole thing. One cannot lead others in a way one has not trodden. A military commander in the war front lads his fighting soldiers better because he has once gone that way through people that ed him before. A non-spiritual leader cannot lead people through a road he has not travelled before.
A spiritual leader always has confidence in God. In natural leadership, the person always hAs confidence in himself.
A spiritual leader knows his God. A natural leader can only know men who will be with him.
A spiritual leader will always seek to know the will of God. A natural leader will only make his own decisions.
Spiritual leadership is a self–sacrificing the type of position. Natural leadership is more of ambition than self-sacrificing.
A spiritual leader look to find and follows the method God has laid down. In natural leadership, he creates his methods of doing things.
A spiritual leader will always enjoy obeying God and takes delight in it. The natural leader enjoys commanding others by bossing them preternaturally.
A spiritual leader is always motivated by the love for God and man. The natural leader is only motivated by his desire.
A spiritual leader knows how to depend on God emphatically. The natural leader is always independent of his own. He makes his own decision and implements them.
It must be pointed out that a man who is too anxious to lead or to rule must be disqualified as he will make a shipwreck of the entire thing. A true leader will not afford to Lord I over the people he is leading, rather he will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing and always ready to follow as to lead.
As Jesus long ago was called to the marriage in Cana of Galilee, so we ministers today are often called to minister in connection with the joining of men and women in the bonds of holy matrimony. Because of the importance of the institution of marriage the pastor should seek to minister faithfully and well when called upon.
- Preparations for the wedding
- Proper teaching on marriage and home.
The pastor would save himself some embarrassing situations and some folks a lot of heartbreak if he would preach more about this subject. In these days of marital, laxity the need along this line is more urgent than ever.
Let folks know that the bible has ay on these vital matters.
The pastor will do well to preach a series of sermons on such subjects as the following:
- Courtship—Matt, 5:8 1Tim. 5:1-2; 2Tim. 2:22
- Marriage —Ephesians 5: 22-23
- The Home—Ephesians 5:33-6:1 Joshua 24:15
- Divorce — See verses under 3 (1) below.
- The blessing of children—Psalm 127: 3-5; Gen. 1:28; 9:1;
- Family worship — Genesis 35:2,3; 1Cor. 16:19; Philemon 2;2 Samuel 6: 11; Acts 10:2.
B. Acquaintance with the laws of the country.
The minister should know about such matters as age requirement, posting time for those intending to get married, health demands, whether or not the minister must have a certificate, grounds for divorce, etc.
C. Conference with prospects if possible.
(1) Find out if divorced, and then act by your conviction. See Matt. 19:8,9; 5:31,32; Mark 10: 11, 12; Luk 16:18; Rom. 7:1-4. Whichever view is taken as outlined in a state of ministerial Association, August 1932, ministers will be wise not to marry divorcees will thus save themselves a lot of trouble who is to say who is guilty, etc?
(2) Discourage wrong marriages, such as between Catholics and Christians or between a believer and an unbeliever. See 2 Cor. 6:14.
(3) Arrange for time, place, character, form, time of rehearsal. Is it to be a single or double ring ceremony?
(4) Find out exactly the given names the parties wish to have for use in the service.
Discuss the following with those to be married:
- Their spiritual condition.
- Their moral right to marriage.
- Their physical right to marriage.
- Arranging for the church and arranging the church
- Be sure to have seats reserved in the proper place for the relatives.
- Have the order of entrance understood by all before the time of the wedding.
- Have a planned program for the different parts of the wedding.
- It is best to have a rehearsal of the wedding before the time of the ceremony all possible.
- The following Is a suggested ceremony prepared by Rev. Homer A. Kent.
- The Minister’s Brief Address:
“Beloved in the Lord, we gathered in the presence of God and of one another t Jon this man and this woman in the bonds of holy matrimony. Marriage is an ordinance of God. It was first ordained by Him in the Garden of Eden. Jesus adorned and beautified this holy estate by his presence at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. St. Paul declares it to be an honourable estate among all men.
There is but one relationship in life more sacred than this, namely, that which exists between each of you and your maker: there is but one relationship more endearing and intimate, that which exists between Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom, and the church, His Bride.
“Marriage is a joyous occasion. We associate therewith in our thoughts all the charms of home, and all that is beautiful and uplifting in the most tender and most sacred relations of life. Marriage is the foundation of the home. Home in its ideal sense is the outer court of Heaven. I trust that you will open it wide enough so that Christ may enter with you. If you do, the blessing of Heaven will rest upon your lives. Your home will become a Bethel where God will delight to dwell. Such a sacred relationship as is assumed for a lifetime and must therefore be entered upon reverently and in the fear of God. God in his word has thus described the importance, of relation: (Ephesians 5:22-32). If you accept the spiritual teaching concerning marriage, will you both say, “I do”?
- The giving away of the Bride; (sometimes omitted)
- To the father or whomever: “who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
- The response: “I do”. The father then steps back and takes his place next his place next to his wife at the end of the first pew on the left, while the woman assumes her proper position beside the groom. In case the giver is someone other than the bride’s father er takes a pew reserved for him or steps to one side and remains standing.
- The questions:
- To the groom: “do you Mr . . . . . .take Miss . . . . . to be your lawful wedded wife, to live together after God’s Holy ordinance in the estate of matrimony?
Do you pledge yourself to be her husband so long as you both shall live?” if so, answer “I do”.
- To the Bride:” Do you Miss …..take Mr . . . .to be your lawful wedded husband to live together after God’s Holy ordinance in the estate of matrimony? Do you pledge yourself to be his wife as long as you both shall live?” if so, or if preferred, “Do you . . . .take . . . . .to be your lawful wedded husband, to live together after God’s Holy ordinance in the estate of matrimony? Do you promise to love, honour and obey him and to assist him in the labour and obey him and to assist him in the labours of life so long as you both shall live?” if so, answer “I do” (note) in case the longer question is used in each instance to ask the question relating to the acceptance of the spiritual teaching. (Eph. 5:22,23)
- The Vows:
The Bride and Groom face each other, joining right hand, and repeat after the minister the following vows:
- The Groom: “I . . . . . .take . . . . . . .to be my wedded wife, to have and o hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer in sickness and in health, to love and obey thee in the Lord. Till death do us part, according to Gods Holy ordinance: and I pledge thee my troth”.
- The Token (or Tokens)
- To the groom: “what token and pledge do you offer that you will faithfully perform these covenant vows?” the groom then receives the ring from the best man and say “This ring”. (For the bride).
- To the Bride: The minister asks the bride, “Do you accept this token of the performance of this vow? If so, allow it to be placed on the proper finger”.
- The Vow: while holding the bride, the groom should say after the minister, “with this ring I thee wed, and with all my worldly goods, and my heart’s faithful affection, I thee endow, in the name of the father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
- The Pronouncement:
The bride and groom should join left and right hands respectively for this and the minister shall place his right hand on their’s saying “Forasmuch is . . . . .and . . . . . . .have consented together in Holy wedlock, and live witnessed the same before God and this company, and there to have given and pledged their truth, each to the other and has declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by joining hands, by my authority as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, I do now pronounce them husband and wife in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Ghost. Whom therefore, God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
- The prayer and Benediction:
The bride and groom may not kneel for this part of the ceremony. If they are to kneel preparations will be made for kneeling.
- The minister’s congratulations:
The minister will then close the service by shaking hands with both parties and saying, “let me be the first to offer sincere congratulations and best wishes. May God bless you
The pastor’s ministry in the home of a dead member.
- Visit as soon as news of death is received. Do not delay. The visit may be very brief. Manifest your sympathy. Let the family know that you are vitally concerned and are there to help them in any way possible.
- Present some Christian truth, e.g the loved one is in the presence of the Lord, the fact of reunion, the comforting presence of the Holy Soil, the sufficiency of God’s grace, etc. and is sure to tell them that you will pray for them.
- Be prepared to meet the various situations that may be faced, such as those who have a rebellious spirit, those who feel that the loved one was not prepared to die, those who feel that they are are to blame for the loved one’s death.
- The meaning of the service. It has no meaning for the one that is dead but only for the living and so the words should be words of two kinds.
- There should be words of warning and advice that death comes to all and that we should be prepared for it.
- There should be words of comfort if the dead one was a Christian and the ones left behind are Christians. Do not try to comfort them if they are not. There is no comfort for them. It, however, is not good to make them feel even worse so we should not dwell on the fact that there is no hope for the one who died, but rather a kindly message about the desirability of preparing for death while there is time. This is an occasion when some members of the bereaved house may accept the Lord. The service should be carefully planned so that it will not occupy much time. Preachers need to learn that the effectiveness of a service is not determined by its length.
An Example Of The Order Of Funeral Service
Choruses/Hymn for the procession.
Prayers:(for the nation, the church, Families etc).
Choruses/Hymn for the sermon.
Obituary – Testimonies 1 or 2 about the life of the departed.
Prayer for the bereaved family.
Vote of thanks by a family member.
withdrawal Hymn to the gravesite.
Consecration of the grave (sentences ab-nd comital).
hymn/choruses during covering of the grave.
Vote of thanks by the priest/final prayer for dismissal.
- The Funeral Sermon.
- Let it not be too long (not over 15 or 20 minutes).
- Let it be scriptural
- Messages may be chosen from such passages as these:
Psalms 23,46,91,103, 1 Thess. 4:13-18
John 11:14. 2 Timothy 4
1 Cor. 15, Rev. 21; 22. 2Cor. 5:1-10
- Let it emphasize the great truths of the Gospel as regards the future.
- Let it appeal to the living
- Let it not be too full of eulogy
Where some of the great transformations of the Gospel have been exemplified in the departed, it is in place to call attention to that fact, but let it not be too eulogistic. Folks may not recognize whom you are talking about;
- Let it have something in it to tell folks how to be saved because the only time some people come to church is on such occasions. Therefore point the way to heaven.
- Let it be full of tenderness and sympathy. Remember how Jesus wept in connection with the death of Lazarus.
- The visit after the Funeral.
Just after the funeral is a very lonely time for the bereaved. The pastor should not forget the family then. He should make a call shortly.
That will be all for now. Thanks and do drop your constructive comment in the comment box below.