The Pastor – Spiritual First-responder.
Most people will answer that question based on their experiences: TV or Radio preachers, appearances in movies or on TV, what we see of a pastor on a Sunday morning, or a general impression based on a smattering of associations.
Here is my informal definition: Your pastor is the guy that stays up late at night concerned for your soul. The more formal definition comes from Scripture, when Paul tells the elders (pastors) at Ephesus what is expected of them, 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.”
Another description of the pastor comes from the German, seelsorger, which means soul-healer. This reflects the fact that we sustain spiritual and moral injuries in our lives and our pastor is the one who is to provide treatment according the direction of the Great Physician and Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many Christians express surprise when they discover that our Lord has sent their pastor to visit them when they are in the hospital, to counsel them when they are dealing with family difficulties, to comfort them when they lose someone they love, to seek them when they go astray, to warn them about false teachers, and more.
In this series I will be discussing some of the various characteristics of the pastoral office as Jesus created it so that His people can benefit from the good that He has provided for us.
Here are some of the topics coming up:
- The relationship between pastor and people is something God has created. (The Pastor and his flock.)
- The pastor is accountable to God, first of all.
- The pastor is an elder.
- The pastor is an overseer
- The pastor is a shepherd
- Treating spiritual injuries
- Moral injuries
- When to call the pastor
- The pastor in the church
- The pastor among his people
- The pastor in the community.
(Illustration from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pastor)