Our culture has minimized much that has to do with Christianity. These days, your call adds little credibility to how others perceive you. As you know some church people want a “preacher” but not a “pastor.” There is a difference between the two. We’re going to try to define it. I can be “clergy” as contrasted to being a “man of God.” I may want a clergy tag on the car, but not the “man of God” mantle on my life. Paul understood the need to validate his role as a God-called Christian leader. “When I speak to you Gentiles,” Paul wrote, “I magnify mine office if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh.” (Romans 11:13-14) There are several facets to this particular matter of intentionally defining God’s call.
Define The Office
Instill in your mind the fact that the work of the ministry is official. What we do is an office in every sense of the word. The definition of office is: “A special duty, trust, charge, or position, conferred by authority for a public purpose.”
Note the elements of an office: duty, trust, or a special charge. It is conferred by authority to benefit a larger public. The office to which Paul referred has a sacred trust and God Himself confers it. God used several terms to designate His called leaders. These terms not only indicate an office but suggest the duties.
- Shepherd – A shepherd leads the flock; seeks the wandering; feeds the sheep; and heals the hurting. Caring for the sheep consumes the shepherd’s life. As one writer put it, a shepherd has the smell of the sheep.
- Bishop – This refers to an overseer. An overseer has special duties and authority. He directs the labors of others. However, lest we revel in a position of oversight be mindful that authority includes the weight of responsibility. Football coach Vince Lombardi observed that when his team won, “The team did it, but when we lose I take the blame. It’s my fault. I had a poor game plan and made poor decisions.” In a similar way, as a bishop, one has to accept responsibility.
Define Your Responsibility
There is a responsibility laid on a preacher that does not rest on any other member of His church. Get clear on what you are to do . . define it and do it. Don’t worry about the things that don’t fit in the definition. I encourage you to be who and what God called and equipped you to be. The Science of Shepherding
What do you see as some incorrect expectations other have on you? . . . or perhaps we put them on ourselves.