Pastoral Leadership

Pastoral Leadership

(Points taken from Strauch “Biblical Eldership”)

I. TRCC vision / Radical Life

For the Glory of God we will build the church both local and global by being and producing radical followers of Jesus Christ.

Communion with God / Community with each other / Collision with culture

I. Definition of the church:

The church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord.  In obedience to Scripture they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical ordinances of baptism and Communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and their joy (Driscoll).

Communion with God / Community with each other / Collision with culture

We are a family of brothers and sisters. Over 400 x in the NT alone – brother

I. A church is to be led by: Pastors/Elders/Overseers

Three nouns used interchangeably to describe the role of the Pastors/Elders/Overseers

The Scriptures liken pastors/elders/overseers to shepherds and the people to sheep. Jesus himself used this illustration for himself as the Chief Shepherd and his people as sheep. Pastors are called “undershepherds” to the Chief Shepherd Jesus.

This is why we don’t have a “senior pastor” here. We are a body of equals and the superior is Jesus.

Pastor = Shepherd

Elders = Lead

Overseers = Oversee, Manage

What are the functions of Pastors/Elders/Overseers?

1. Pastors must lead in a shepherding fashion

A. Protect the people / flock

1. Acts 20:17, 28-31

Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them:

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.

2. Titus 1:5, 6, 9

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.

B. Be spiritually alert

1. Acts 20:28-31

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.

2. Isaiah 56:9-12 Speaking about Israel’s irresponsible leaders…

All you beasts of the field, come to devour—

all you beasts in the forest.

His watchmen are blind;

they are all without knowledge;

they are all silent dogs;

they cannot bark,

dreaming, lying down,

loving to slumber.

The dogs have a mighty appetite;

they never have enough.

But they are shepherds who have no understanding;

they have all turned to their own way,

each to his own gain, one and all.

“Come,” they say, “let me get wine;

let us fill ourselves with strong drink;

and tomorrow will be like this day,

great beyond measure.”

C. Exercise courage

1. 1 Samuel 17:33-37 David taking on Goliath to lead the people

D. Feed the souls of Father’s people

1. Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

2. John 21:17

3. Acts 2:42

4. Acts 11:25-26

5. 1 Timothy 4:13-16

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

6. 1 Timothy 5:17-18

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

E. Lead the people

Leadership: Make good decisions (biblically sound, wise, counseled decision) and go first (Major Winters 506 PIR 101st Airborne)

1. 1 Timothy 5:17

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

F. Manage the people

1. 1 Timothy 3:4-5

He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

G. Work hard

H. Love for the Lord’s people

1. 2 Corinthians 2:4

For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

2. Pastors must share Leadership

This is just the way the Bible lays out the model of leadership.

Acts 15 – Jerusalem Council

James 5:14, 15 – Elders of the church praying for the sick

Acts 14:23

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

In each of these passages and many others the word “church” is singular and the term “elder” is plural. Meaning each church had elders (a multiplicity)

“Leadership by a council of elders is a form of government found in nearly every society  of the ancient near east. It was the fundamental government structure of the nation of Israel throughout its OT history (Ex 3:16; Ezra 10:8). Paul, a Jew, appointed elders for his newly founded churches (Acts 14:23). Paul established a council of elders in each local church” (Strauch, p. 39).

A. Benefits of a council of equals:

1. Balancing people’s weaknesses

2. Lightning the work load

3. Providing accountability

3. Pastor/Shepherds must be men

A. 1 Timothy 2:9-15

1. Created order issue not a cultural issue

2. Liberates women to be what Father created them to be not what culture imposes on them

4. Shepherds must be qualified morally

“Many build churches nowadays; their walls and pillars of glowing marble, their ceilings glittering with gold, their altars studded with jewels. Yet to the choice of Christ’s ministers no heed is paid.” – Jerome to Nepotian, dated 394 AD

Pastor / Elders are not honorary titles given to those who have “earned” it.

Pastor / Elders are not board positions for wealthy donors or long time friends.

Pastor / Elders are not for seminary trained men (seminary is for pastor/elders to get further training not the other way around)

A. Irreproachable moral character and capable in the teaching of Scripture

1. 1 Timothy 3:1-2 “Above reproach”

A. Does not mean they are perfect

B. It means they are quick to repent if wrong

C. It means they are quick to stand their ground if they are right

1. They don’t have an inflated view or deflated view of themselves

B. Examples for the people to follow

They must not be like the people rather the people are to be like them.

1. Hosea 4:9

“…like people like priest…”

2. Luke 6:40

“Everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”

C. Biblical moral qualifications protect the church from incompetent leaders

(Incompetent from the character side of things)

1. Protects from men who are driven by their ego

2. Protects from men who are deceived about their character or ability

3. Protects from evil men who are agents of Satan who want to ruin the church

5. Shepherds must be servant leaders

I would argue that this kind of leadership will probably not ever been seen fully by all due to the fact that humility drives it, not self-seeking pride for all to see.

One who serves like this is probably more embarrassed by attention and would rather avoid it.

One who seeks to constantly draw attention to themselves is not a servant nor are they a leader.

Leaders don’t have to proclaim “Hey, look at me! I’m a leader!”. They lead and others follow.

A. Gentle and Humble 

1. Matthew 11:29

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

B. Humble servants of all (all statuses/classes of people)

1. Mark 9:33-35

And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

C. Sacrifice, Service and Suffering

1. Mark 10:35-45

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

D. One who serves

1. Luke 22:24-27

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

E. Washing one another’s feet

1. John 13:3-17

F. Love

1. John 13:34, 35

A. God hates pride (in his shepherds too)

1. Proverbs 16:5a

B. Humble servanthood is hard

1. This is why Jesus teaches so much on it over and over

2. Jesus is teaching his disciples (Apostles) over and over

3. Servant leaders have to repent because this is hard for them

C. Humility, servanthood and love are essential qualities for the church

1. Philippians 2:5, 7, 8

6. This is how Father intends to shepherd his people

A. Chief shepherd Jesus shepherds us this way

B. Chief shepherd Jesus has provided me with this kind of shepherding in the pastors of TRCC

C. I will worship today for this grace from the Lord