What is pastor? The word appears only 9 times in the scripture and only once in the New Testament. But from the little amount of time it appears in scripture we can still try to deduce what it means. It appears more in the Old Testament, and each time it is referring to the prophets.
"And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." (Jer 3:15).
From the scripture we can deduce that pastors are meant to teach. They are to feed the people with the knowledge and understanding of God, to reveal to the people the mysteries of God in a way that they would understand.
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD." (Jer 23:1).
The word pastor is gotten from pasture, and in some translation it is translated as shepherd. So the pastor is a shepherd and he must take the Lord's sheep to the pasture of the Lord and feed them.
"I [Jesus] am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." (John 10:14).
Christ is the Shepherd, he is the revelation of God, he feeds us knowledge and understanding of God. This Christ is the visible image of the invisible God, the expression of God's nature and the radiation of God's glory, no one can reveal God like he does.
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2Cor 4:6).
In the face of Jesus our hearts becomes flooded with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. It is in Jesus that we truly know God, he is the Shepherd that feed the sheep with the knowledge and understanding of God.
Another characteristic of pastor is to care for the sheep, all these are responsibilities of Jesus the Shepherd. We must understand that the New Covenant is all about Christ. The New Covenant is God cutting a stone not with the hands of man (Daniel 2:34). You remember Daniel's interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, a stone cut not with the hands of man strike the image of the kingdoms of the world and established God's kingdom on earth.
For God to establish His kingdom on earth He needs a stone cut not with the hands of man. This stone has to be cut by God himself, this is why God himself came as Jesus to cut that stone. It has to be Jesus, God does not need the hands of man conterminating the stone. Only Jesus should cut the stone, therefore the New Covenant is about Christ and Christ alone.
Only Jesus can do the Father's work, if any man wants to work for God then he must die and allow Jesus to begin to live in him. The man in him must be put to dead so that only the Christ who lives in him would do the work of God. Man's hands cannot touch the work of God, it will defy everything.
" I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:" (Gal 2:20)
The man dies yet he lives, but not him living but Christ. He can only touch God's work with that part of him that is Christ. The man must die daily, he must decrease so that Christ might increase in him. And the more of Christ he has in him the more he can do God's work.
Christ is the pastor, for Christ is the only one that can do God's work. God has no other pastor than Christ, therefore if you are to be a pastor you are only a pastor base on the measure of Christ you have. The truth is that we are all pastors; "because as he is, so are we in this world." (1John 4:17). Christ is the pastor, that means we are the pastor, but we are only pastor based on the measure of Christ that we have.
You can only do the work of a pastor based on the measure of Christ that you have, for God will not the hands of man touching his work. In the early ecclesia only the elders do the work of a pastor, this is because they have grown in Christ more than others in the community. They have a greater measure of Christ and as such they are charged with the responsibility to shepherd the sheep.
They shepherd yet not them that shepherd but Christ shepherding through him. It is Christ doing the Father's work, only him is allowed to do the Father's work. In the early Christian ecclesia they have more than one pastor. All those who have a greater measure of Christ are allowed to pastor.
In fact, it happens organically; once you are growing into more and more of Christ you will just find yourself caring for the sheep, feeding them. It comes as a natural instinct; whether or not you are appointed as a pastor you will just find yourself pastoring (feeding and caring for the sheep of God). You don't need a pulpit and a church building to do that. Wherever you are, and whatever opportunity you have you will feed and care for the sheep.
The pastor is not a profession given to those with special education (training). The only qualification needed to pastor is Christ, how much of Christ do you have in you? How much of his pastoring ability has he developed in you? These are all that is needed. It is only the Christ developed in you that can pastor, for Christ is the pastor.
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