Elders, Pastors and Overseers
February 22, 2021
As new churches that Paul started through his ministry, he needed to select leaders to overseer these churches when he could not be there.
They were called Elders, Pastors or Overseers chosen to care for the spiritual wellbeing and to protect Christ flock.
In the book of Timothy, Paul gives Timothy the responsibility to choose overseers to be pastors in the church in Ephesus.
Being a pastor is a gift that the Holy Spirit gives as described in Ephesians 4 with a specific purpose. You cannot earn a degree to be a pastor, it must be given by the Holy Spirit, which is having a heart of a shepherd.
A pastor can be chosen by leaders of a church or they can ask to be one which Paul says would be desiring a noble task.
1 Timothy 3: Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.
Being noble is to hold a high moral standard of God as a pastor and for the flock they shepherd.
Paul tells Timothy the godly characteristics that a pastor must have to shepherd the body of Christ.
1 Timothy 3: 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
Peter tells why pastors need to have these Godly characteristics.
1 Peter 5: 2 Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Peter said the pastor must have these characteristic to be an example to the flock under their care because those who do will be rewarded by Jesus when he appears.
Read Acts 20: 17-32, in that passage Paul describes what a pastor’s heart would be like.
Pastors serve the Lord with great humility and with sincerity.
They do not hesitate to preach anything that would be helpful to know God’s will and always remind the flock to repent and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
They see their life effort is to care for the church given to them by Jesus by testifying to the gospel of God’s grace by their teaching and exampled in their life.
They understand they have the responsibility to keep the flock the Holy Spirit has given them from perishing, so they must not hesitate to teach the whole will of God.
They must always be on guard of those who distort the truth of God’s word to sway disciples to follow them and not Jesus.
Jesus said in John 10 there is a gate keeper who will only allow him into his flock. These are the Pastors, Elders and Overseers watching over Jesus’ flock who are responsible to lead and teach the flock to only recognize the voice of Jesus and only follow him when he calls them by name.
Jesus also said they are his servant that he has put in charge of caring for his fellow servants to keep them ready for his return.
Matthew 24: 45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.
Godly characteristic and the heart of a pastor is clearly revealed to us from Scripture and it will be the responsibility of Jesus disciples not to assume they are in me or any pastor, but bear witness to them as I will bear them to my Lord Jesus who will hold me accountable and as I will hold all who proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
As your pastor I do have a calling to only allow Jesus into the flock by encouraging us to be disciples daily feeding on the word of God and to teach the whole will of God found in God’s word. I do this because my heart desire is for all of us to recognize the voice of Jesus and be ready to go with him when he calls us home before or when he returns.
So, let everything we say is true to Jesus is because it is found in the Bible and not because a pastor said so or wrote. There is only one name under heaven that can save us.
Be safe in Jesus,