Monday, November 8, 2010

Pastor as examples, even in shepherding

I have often argued that one of the main roles of a pastor is to be an example.

... As I was reading Ecclesiology by Dargan (book review forthcoming), I got to thinking about the fact that most "shepherd" terminology in Scripture refers to Christ, not pastors (see for example John 10:11, Heb 13:20, 1 Pet 2:25). And then it hit me ... as an example, pastors need to imitate Christ and be Christlike. If He is a shepherd, then, obviously, they need to be shepherds, not only because that is part of their gifting, but also to set an example of shepherding, so that all believers can be shepherds at some level or other. Like any other gift, here also there seems to be the general mandate and focused mandate (i.e. - we are all called to evangelize, but some are gifted as evangelists; we are all called to teach, but some are gifted as teachers; etc.). In this case, if you think about it, we are all called to shepherd (really most of the "one another" sayings in Scripture), even if some are specially gifted as shepherds.

So, to my pastor friends out there, don't forget to model shepherding to the people that God has put in your life. And along those lines, don't forget to model all that God has called you to do as a pastor. It's not enough to just live our "Christian life" in front of people, we have to be actively imitating Christ so that we can tell people to imitate us, as we imitate Him.

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