The Pastor – Spiritual First-responder.
1. The relationship between pastor and people is something God has created. (The Pastor and his flock.)
Scripture tells us that there are many relationships in our lives that God has defined. Parents, for example, are charged with the physical well-being of their families (1 Timothy 5:8). This is so widely understood that parent who don’t will face serious criminal charges. It is also true that parents are charged with the spiritual care of their children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
These are not contractual relationships, they exist by the nature of things, by God’s order.
In the great spiritual battle that continues in this world, many deny this. Some will say, for example, that the raising of children is fundamentally the responsibility of the state, and not the parents. This part of the “progressive” agenda has become law in communist countries and in much of Europe.
The erosion of the pastor’s responsibilities has gone much farther, so that many churches look at the pastor as some sort of celebrity leader or C.E.O.
But God’s word says that when He calls us to faith and leads us into a Christian congregation, that we have certain obligations to Him, and this includes the obligation to listen to our pastors. He makes this abundantly clear in Hebrews 13:17(NKJV), “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
This is mirrored in the direction that He gives to the pastors through His apostle, Paul, in Acts 20:28 (CSB), “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.”
This makes the faithfulness of the pastor a most important consideration, and is why I say that the pastor is “The guy that stays awake nights, concerned for the souls of his people.
So as we learn from the Bible how God cares for us through our pastors, it will be with the understanding that it is not just a useful option, but our Lord’s order and His blessing.