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Friday, April 12, 2013

what is a pastor? - pt. 1

This and the next several posts will explore the question: "What is a Pastor?" I'd love to hear your thoughts or responses in the comments!

The Pastoral Charge to Peter 

So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep." (John 21:15-17, NASB)

Responding to Peter’s declarations of love, Jesus charges him to:
  1. Tend (food, water, basics) my lambs
  2. Shepherd (all-encompassing – safety, protection, guidance, leadership) my sheep
  3. Tend (food, water, basics) my sheep
By extension, I understand this to charge pastors with:
  1. Teaching the Word and worshiping in Spirit and Truth  (feeding and ‘watering’ God’s people)
  2. Caring for the people of God (particularly those under the pastor’s “charge”) in regards to earthly needs (physical, emotional, material) and spiritual needs; includes defense and protection in those realms
  3. Leadership of those under my “charge” – where would the Great Shepherd have this flock go?  How do we go safely and faithfully?
  4. Seeking those who wander astray (lost sheep)… spending extra time and energy to bring them home or to safety.

Part 1: Pastoral Charge to Peter 
Part 2: The Nature of Pastoral Authority
Part 3: On Shepherding the Flock
Part 4: Some Personal Comments

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