The True Pastor in the Local Church

“THE TRUE PASTOR IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
And THE BEHAVIOUR OF CHRISTIANS IN IT.”
 
” A true Pastor MUST never seek recognition, self promotion, advertise himself” those attributes seek self Glory, and reveal self dependence and definitely not of God and never godly.”
 
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. 1Timothy3:1-7.
 
A shepherd is a person who cares for a flock of sheep. He leads them to a place where they can find food and water. He keeps the flock together, so it is safe from attack. At the same time each sheep receives individual attention. Those that stray are brought back to the flock, and any sick sheep is healed. Each one is known by name. see (John10)
 
We often think that the Pastor that puts on well, has flashy Cars, nice shoes from Italy, has better designs is the true man of God, and we accredit him for being our inspiration what a doomed generation we have today. The modern Christianity has become the judge to give credits, and I hear some of the Christians Pastors today are given certificates, trophies, accolades and any sort of worldly appreciation is rendered to this Pastor to truthfully reveal that He has been appointed by men not God, out of the world He was appointed and justified so the rewarder will always be the world on wonder and what a pity we have for this generational Pastors. We seem to see the world more important than the Spiritual World, the Spiritual seems dim to us, and we see as if the world has it all for sure that is being short sighted. In Paul’s Letter to Timothy on guidance of the overseers, which are called to be shepherds there some things to note in order to determine whether we have a true Pastor in our local churches or international churches.
1. Humility
2. Management
3. Good Parent
4. Sober-mind/sound mind/ conscience
5. Dignity
6. Submissive/ disciplined Children
7. Good content of heart
8. Gentleness
9. Not recent convert
10. Hospitality
11. Not a lover of Money.
12. Teacher
13. Slow to anger and not violent. As we read the scripture in Paul’s epistle we note these attributes which must carried by the church overseer in the local Church.
 
It speaks of parenting, discipline, morals, hospitality, teaching, humility and many others as I have noted them down. By the virtue of the above attributes you find out that position of overseer (Pastor) is not something easy to jump into. Pastoring often is considered as part of parenting, and as a parent you know how children can be a hard task, remember the growth of a child? There are those who can be breast feeding, others are already playful, others are crawling and still others have reached time of schooling and all these types of children require attention of the Mother, and the Father being present, now some Christians are types of the babes described above, some Christians are still in pumpers, others are shiting on themselves even when the mother has just bathed them and changed them, imagine that great task of the Mother, it’s the role of an Overseer at the church, some are playful of course growing to experience things to see whether they are real, and others are messed up and beating others up, what a devastating role for the pastor in the local Church. A call to a Pastor is not preaching the gospel rather to teach, discipline, to parent, to be an example as Father, to be patient, humble, moreover to demonstrate the great traits of Jesus Christ, to create relationship through communion and able to teach them to the fullest with the Help of the Holy Spirit, notwithstanding to feed, to care, to protect the flock when under attack by the wolves.” Role of a great Shepherd”.
 
Let’s take a look into this generational pastors we have today, 99% are accredited and justified by men, they are conceited, lovers of Money than the flock and their Spiritual growth, they have become more like King Ahab and Jezebel (1kings18) who cared more for the horses that they may not die instead of killing the horses and feed the people to manage hunger. The first opposite attribute of pastors today is that Paul condemned” conceit, lovers of Money, violent, proud, never contented with what they have, they are gluttons, lovers of pleasure, their children not disciplined they are more of wild ecstasy than of wisdom, humble, parents, managers, teachers. They simply make noise and rotate around one scripture to steal, kill, and defraud those in the Pew. Paul was not asleep to point out the required qualifications for A Pastor of the Local Church.
 
The Christians today are also more concerned about the eloquence of the pastor’s teaching or preaching and in response words like preach it pastor, and they chairs will be raised up and that pastor becomes great to them, and they never notice the true attributes of the Spiritual Pastor standing with God and the worldly Pastor. The world pastor will be more concerned about the pleasures of the world, lover of the Money, how to hit jackpot in California, how you can buy a jet than caring for the lost sheep and their thirstiness for God’s knowledge, Spiritual Growth, eternal life, moral discipline, godliness, holiness, the biblical truth. No wonder he doesn’t care about them because He has been appointed by the world, having a true Pastor accredited and appointed by God is great blessing today, because you would find discipline, humility, hospitality, generosity, married with one wife and children have fear of God, a wife being an intercessor than being an assistant Pastor. However, to find one true with these great attribute is by Grace of God which may require you to pray and fast if you have been deceived for a long time.
 
This true Pastor of the local church must demonstrate the Power of the Holy Spirit and wisdom of God, knowledge and His understanding lest people exalt him and become conceited and put their hopes in him than the Living God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, to live eternally. He should be in weakness in order the Holy Spirit to give him Power, he should not have knowledge of the world but of God. For weakness means he should trust in God and depend on God’s power than His power and strength. The Pastor should make sure the Pew have the knowledge of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to grow in the word of God, and how to build themselves together for the glory of Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
Christians in the True Pastors’ church surprisingly are never coming to the knowledge in fullness of Christ, they always take things for granted, they moreover since we have the Holy Spirit speaking to us, God also makes me prosper in whatever I do, and I think now am okay and heaven is just near Me, they forget the seriousness in the Holiness and righteousness of God, having money in your pocket and building may not mean you are blessed my dear brother or Sister, Blessing is a great one when Jesus Christ is your Lord, and also the only Saviour in every aspect of life, I hear them say, I have now 10 years in Christianity, and that is what they tell the new converts to concentrate as for them they have already passed that stage, now Spiritual thirstiness anymore, no fear of the Lord any more, I only hear I have been seeking a Husband for the last ten years of my salvation and I have not forgotten any, even to the men though this rarely happens. The true church with a true Pastor is a complex task to handle and a hard nut crack even the hard bone to break. It’s more like a secondary school, nursery school and university I guess like a home because all these types of Christians are existing. It’s more of the church at Corinthians you cannot afford to sleep as the Head Master of the school, otherwise you will find many have jumped the fence and led others out, or you find the school has been burnt by the stubborn students. What a school of learning.
 
As Christians we often read the epistles of Paul, Peter, James and others who rendered their lives for Christ’s sake, you would note in these epistles they address many issues at the church and to the Christians and moreover to different types of Christians. But there is a similarity about these epistles, they would speak of sin and expose it, speak of good morals to be in these Christians, discipline, parental guidance, caring for the gifting of the flock, Jesus Christ being the emphasis, Love tackled, the word of God exalted, less talk about worldly richness, planes, travels and so forth. But what are pastors today’s emphasis miracles, no flock discipline, no parenting, and no teaching rather making noise for their empires.
 
Roles of the church Leader and pastors may vary but not limited to this as follows;
 
Building Relationships
The first function of the elder is to build relationships among church members. Just as the shepherd keeps his flock together, so the elder will work to build up the whole body of believers. A church is a group of believers who have been bound together in a closely-knit unity (Fellowship). It is the responsibility of the elders to take a group of disciples, and build strong relationships between them. In this way the whole body is joined together, and grows and builds itself up in love.
This aspect of the elder’s work is clearly demonstrated in Paul’s letters. A large part of them is devoted to building relationships. Paul is not just concerned about teaching doctrine, he also teaches the believers how to relate to each other. And often a whole chapter is given to strengthening his own relationship with the church. Elders who are pastor/teachers will take most of the responsibility for establishing unity in the church. Prophets tend to be more concerned about holiness than unity. They often have an abrasive aspect to their character, which can cause division. Evangelists are usually too busy seeking the lost to be concerned about unity. Most of the burden for building relationships will fall on elders who have a pastoral calling.
 
Making Disciples
The main function of the elder is the formation of Christian character. Every Christian should be in a relationship with an elder who can help them to grow to full Christian maturity, as measured by the stature of Christ. The elder does this by teaching the Word, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, binding up the broken-hearted, and releasing those who are captives of Satan. At the same time he must warn those who wander from the true way. In Titus 2:15, Paul sums this up in three words: teach, encourage, rebuke. This is the work of the elder (The Church Teacher Roles)
 
Another expression for this role is “making disciples”. Every person who becomes a Christian must be discipled so that they grow to maturity. The heart of discipling is the relationship with an elder whose life can be modelled by the disciple. Discipleship means learning to be a Christian by following the example of elder, within a disciple/teacher relationship. The disciple learns the truths of the Christian faith in a way that is relevant to his life. The elder discipling would correct the disciple, if he goes wrong. An important part of the elder’s role will be to support the disciple in continuous prayer. In all their work, elders will work in a very close partnership with the Holy Spirit.
 
The first stage of discipling will be very intense. The new Christian will be quickly taught the basics of the Christian life. They will have lots of questions. Some may need deliverance or healing. They will be taught to read the scriptures and to pray. The elder will teach them how to experience the gifts of the Spirit and move in his anointing. The most important thing they learn will be to hear God speak. This will allow the Spirit to work in their life. He will do most of the work.
The elder/disciple relationship should quickly become less intense. The basic things should be covered within the first few weeks of their being a Christian. From then on it will be a matter of watching from close by. The elders may still need to answer an occasional question. The disciple may need an odd warning: “Have you prayed about that” or “What is God saying about that”. Prayer covering should soon become the most important part of discipleship.
 
Elders must be careful not to dominate the lives of those whom they are discipling. It is very easy for young Christians to become too dependent on their elders. Instead each Christian should be taught to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then by reading the Bible and following the leading of the Spirit he will be able to grow on his own (I John 2:27). The elder will then only need to watch from the distance, giving encouragement and correcting mistakes. The aim is for each Christian to grow to a level of maturity where he can walk in the Spirit, and not be too dependent on an elder.
Part of discipling is to release the believer into his ministry. The New Testament teaches that every believer has a ministry, or area of service to God. About a year after becoming a Christian, the elder should start guiding the disciple towards a ministry of his own. The elder must identify their gifts and calling and equip them for service in the ministry to which God has called them. For example, a potential pastor may start to assist with discipling even newer Christians.
 
Jesus Example.
 
The best example of an elder is the ministry of Jesus to his disciples. He chose twelve men and worked with them for three years (Mark 3:14). By living in close proximity with them for three years, he developed a strong relationship with them. Each one of them was given individual attention. Jesus taught and trained them so that they would grow to maturity. They submitted to him and carried out all his instructions. He had complete authority over them. In this way he formed their lives into a likeness of his own. At the same time he built strong relationships between the twelve. He prepared them to work as a unit once he was gone. In three years, they were ready to go on without him. Every elder should follow this pattern.
The true test of the quality of a church is what has happened to a person who became a Christian in the church three years earlier. If they are not functioning in a ministry (Jesus disciples were) then there is something wrong with the discipling of the elders. Is there a development path for the new Christian? Can they expect to be functioning in a ministry within three years? In a quality church this would be normal. (People who come to Christianity with severe problems may take longer to grow to maturity, but they should be on the same path).
 
Jesus Commission.
 
The commission Jesus gave to his followers is to make disciples (Matt 28:10). He did not tell us to build a church; he will do that. He did not tell us to win people for him, that is only the first step. He told us to make disciples. Discipling is not optional. Yet discipling is a neglected role in the many churches. Many new Christians are not discipled, so they do not grow to maturity or develop into their own ministry. Many church leaders were not discipled themselves, so they do not know how to disciple others. This breakdown of discipleship is seriously weakening the church. Jesus intends all Christians,
…to built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13).
This does not happen by apostles directing clusters of churches, or prophets speaking anointed words at conferences, or by pastors leading anointed worship services. Christians well only grow up to the fullness of Christ, if they are discipled by elders in the same way that Jesus disciples the twelve.
 
Oversight;
 
Even mature Christians need to be in a relationship with an elder. The word “oversight” describes the nature of this relationship well, because the elder watches over them. In the New Testament, elders are often referred to as overseers. Oversight is not a different role, but are one and the same ministry as eldership. In Titus 1:6, 7, the words “elder” and overseer are used interchangeably to describe this ministry.
Paul described the role of the elders of the church in Ephesus.
From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church….. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood (Acts 20:17, 28).
The Holy Spirit had made them overseers of a flock. Paul challenged them to guard their flock. They do this by watching over them to see that they continue to grow and do not come to harm. Mature Christians do not need to be closely discipled; they just need someone to watch over them, who will only act if they come under severe attack or things go wrong. Jesus bought them with his blood, so they must not be allowed to slip away.
 
Peter also challenged elders to exercise “oversight” (verb) in their role as shepherds and elders of God’s flock. They do this by serving and setting an example, not by ruling and bossing.
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock (1 Pet 1:1-3).
The use of the word overseer tells about the nature of elder’s role. Mostly they just watch over their people without doing anything. Our enemy is prowling around, looking for someone to snare, so all Christians need an elder watching over them. Every Christian will be submitted to an elder, but it must not be “heavy-handed” control. Submission is really just willingness by a believer to allow a more mature Christians to speak into their life, by being teachable and willing to accept correction.
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you (Hebrews 13:7, 17).
Submission must always be voluntary. Disciples should be free to leave at any time, if they do not accept the authority of the elders. Eldership should not be controlling; it is for protection and development. The elder’s goal is to see them grow to a level of maturity, where they are not dependent on an elder.
 
Formation of Character
The first is the formation of Christian character. In this every Christian receives individual care. Each one must be helped to grow to full Christian maturity, as measured by the stature of Christ. The elder does this by teaching the Word, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, binding up the broken-hearted, and releasing those who are captives of Satan. At the same time he must discipline those who wander from the true way. In Titus 2:15, Paul sums this up in three words: teach, encourage, rebuke. This is the work of the pastor and teacher.
At the same time elders must be careful not to dominate the lives of those whom they are discipling. It is very easy for young Christians to become too dependent on their elders. Instead each Christian should be taught to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then by reading the Bible and following the leading of the Spirit he will be able to grow on his own (I John 2:27). The elder will then only need to exercise oversight; giving encouragement and correcting mistakes. The aim is for each Christian to grow to a level of maturity where he can walk in the Spirit, and not be too dependent on an elder.
The pastor and teacher must also release each believer into his ministry. The New Testament teaches that every believer has a ministry, or area of service to God. The elders must help each Christian to discern what his gifts are, and equip him for service in the ministry to which God has called him. The elder will teach and pray and lead by example, so that every member of the Church grows to maturity.
The three stages in the development of character are:
1. The emerging leader submits to discipline from without.
2. He establishes discipline within.
3. He is permitted to establish discipline for others.
This is the order of character development: one submits to discipline first. Then, in that context, internal discipline is built. Once internal discipline is in place, God permits him ¬ and man trusts him to lead others. This order cannot be reversed. Internal discipline must be in place in the leader before he can effectively lead others, and his own external discipline must be in place before he can build true inward discipline. Thus, if one does not truly submit himself to another, he should never be trusted with true leadership responsibility.
Furthermore, please notice that the three stages are cumulative. They are not sequential in the sense of giving up one when moving to the next. They do not replace each other. The healthy leader maintains both his submission to others and his internal self-discipline while he leads others. (Character Forming and Roles of the Church Pastor).
 
The pattern of relationships
Each church member will be submitted to one of the elders in particular and to all in general. Each elder will be accountable for some of the church members, but all elders will be able to speak into the life of any member. This will not be a very formal process. When a new member joins, one of the elders will say to another, “You look after this one” or “I’ll take this one”. Quite often, some of the discipling will be done by other mature members of the body. The elder responsible will just watch from a distance.
The elder would not necessarily hold a special meeting with those for whom he is responsible. Discipling would take place through regular contact during the normal meetings of the church. The elder would also meet with each one individually when this was necessary. An elder is not the leader of a group, but a person who has a strong relationship with a number of people in the church. Discipling does not take place in a special group meeting, but within strong personal relationships in any situation. For example, the best place to disciple an evangelist is out in the world sharing the gospel together.
Each church should be led by a number of elders. Jesus managed to disciple eleven men successfully, so it is unlikely that elder can disciple more than ten men. And where the men have wives and children, ten may be too many. Each elder should only have responsibility for discipling five to ten men and their families. He would help them grow to Christian maturity. Elders will be very focused, so their people will grow very fast. When elders are spread too thin, the danger is that people will not grow.
For the church to be victorious, quality discipling must be restored to the church. Every elder should take a few disciples and teach and pray and lead them by example, until they grow to maturity. These disciples will then be able to become elders, discipling a new group of disciples. This is geometric growth. True multiplication through discipling by elders is the key to the victory of the church.
Many Christians are looking for a revival, but….. Why should God entrust us with more of his children, if we are not ready to disciple them? If they come in to the Kingdom but fall away, getting them back will be much harder. He might be waiting for the church to take discipling seriously before he sends revival.
 
Teaching
It is common today to make a distinction between the role of pastor and the role of teacher. This arises from a false understanding of what the New Testament means by “teaching”. We mostly think of teaching as a transfer of information and skills. Modern teaching is usually a process whereby an expert passes on information to a group of students. They are quite free to ignore what is taught.
For the early Christians teaching was something quite different. They saw it as an activity involving personal direction and an exercise of authority. It took place within a relationship where the teacher had authority over the student. A student would submit himself to a teacher, whose lifestyle he admired. His aim would be to learn the way of life, and the truths which underlay it. So a teacher did not just give his views. He laid out what he expected the student to believe, and the way he expected him to live. So teaching in the New Testament was more like what we call “discipling”. It included the formation of character.
We can see this in the way that Jesus taught his twelve disciples. He did not just impart information to them. By living in close proximity with them for three years, he developed a strong relationship with them. They submitted to Jesus and carried out all his instructions. He had complete authority over them. In this way he formed their lives into a likeness of his own. And throughout the New Testament, teaching takes place within a similar pastoral relationship. This means that the “pastor and teacher: is one ministry. Every teacher is a pastor, and every pastor is a teacher (I Timothy 3:2).
 
I have much more to share you brethren in the coming articles like “a Letter to a reluctant Pastor in the church and a letter to a reluctant Christian in the church”, and of course this will entail much more about the radical church, the being where we live, the behavior of the serious and growing Christian and also many are under way, like Possessing the Gates of Jericho”, The Judgment Day” and much more. By the Grace of God, we have been appointed to deliver the word of Truth in the witness of the Holy Spirit, not forgetting the Saviour Lord who put up all for us to grow in the knowledge of God.
 
We also labour in the sufferings of Christ Jesus nevertheless for His Glory and that the death of Jesus Christ may be perfected in us for your glory and the life of Jesus Christ to be more visible in you. Behold all this and learn from them so that you may grow in every part of your life for the Glory of God in Christ Jesus. I charge you before God, Pastors, and Christians to take this seriously and learn how to build the body of Christ in all goodness and by the Holy Spirit for the Glory of Christ.
 
I remain Asher Namanya, the fellow soldier in Christ Jesus and the Labourer in the Word of God and partaker of the eternal life also for your edification and this is the work of the Holy Spirit. Peace be filled in hearts, joy be multiplied as we wait for the great of the Lord and surely you shall not miss out the crown of everlasting life. God bless you.
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