October 21, 2012

The Pastoral Calling of The Church

Fighting the wolf is the pastor's duty; we need to confront the influences that would destroy God's people.

Scripture: Ephesians 4:11-12; Ezekiel 34:22-31; John 10:11-16

Sermon Notes:

  1. The offices given to the church are for the strengthening and building up of the people of God for the work of ministry.
  2. In addition to the apostolic and prophetic aspect of its calling, there must be shepherds in the church community.
  3. To be a shepherd is a humble, difficult vocation, caring for and protecting sheep in all weather conditions.
  4. Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:14 cf. Hebrews 13:20).
  5. The shepherd image shouldn’t bring us to passivity as though the shepherds do all the work; primarily the pastor’s task is to equip God’s people, through training, nurture and discipling.
  6. Fighting the wolf is the pastor’s duty; we need to confront the influences that would destroy God’s people.
  7. The calling of the pastor includes identifying and dealing with predators.
  8. The Good Shepherd will bring blessing and unification to God’s people (Ezekiel 34:22-31; cf. John 10:11-16).
  9. We have a duty to one another, and a wider calling to the world.
  10. All we do is to be guided and governed by the Word of God. We’re to hear the voice of the shepherd.
  11. The term ‘pastor’ or ‘shepherd’ involves authority to teach, to guide and to exercise authority.
  12. We are also to shepherd one another in the church and we are to call the nations to discipleship under Christ.
  13. In our culture any office with authority is viewed with suspicion.
  14. However, we need to recognize that God has called out leaders; we want to make their work a joy rather than a misery.
  15. The purpose of pastoral ministry is that we might reach maturity in Christ and that our joy may be full. This joy is a principal part of happiness in this world and the world to come.
  16. In the family, fathers in particular are to serve as pastors. This is a concrete way God illustrates pastoral ministry.
  17. Qualifications for eldership are familial; the home is where pastoral functions begins (1 Thess. 2:11-12; 1 John 3:1-3).
  18. If we were to take the pastoral calling in the home seriously, we would expect to see massive revival in the next generation.
  19. The Hebraic understanding of the home was a sanctuary of prayer and worship, a place of prayer, serving, and community.
  20. It is important to regularly talk to our children about the Word of God, and to pray together as a family.
  21. In the Jewish tradition the home was as important as the synagogue; teaching in the church is not a substitute for the home.
  22. As we are emphasizing the priesthood of all believers, that can begin in our homes ministering to one another.
  23. The church and home are not primarily buildings, but rather communities called out to serve God and others.
  24. God’s pattern for fatherhood is that we love our children, pity them, rejoice in them (Psalm 103:13; John 15:11).
  25. We are commanded as believers to be joyful; when we rejoice in God we start feeling joyful.
  26. The chief purpose that God has for us is that we may form an instrument for God’s work within our own family.
  27. Fathers must act like men; instead of following amusements; we are to turn our hearts toward our children.

Application Questions:

  1. In what areas of life do we make our experience more authoritative than the Word of God?
  2. How can we move toward singing, praying and talking over the Word with our families?
  3. What are the implications of Deut. 6:7-9 for raising our children?
  4. What are the consequences when we as parents do not ensure that the Word is transmitted to our children?
  5. What is the source, purpose, and nature of pastoral authority in the church?
  6. How can we support pastoral leaders, making their work a joy?
  7. Contrast the church and the home’s responsibility for teaching.
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