Obligations of Pastor and Congregation to Each Other -- By: Homer A. Kent Sr

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 124:496 (Oct 1967)
Article: Obligations of Pastor and Congregation to Each Other
Author: Homer A. Kent Sr

Obligations of Pastor and Congregation to Each Other

Homer A. Kent Sr.

[Homer A. Kent, Sr., Vice-President, Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indiana.]

What the Congregation Have a Right to Expect of Their Pastor

In an exhortation to the “good minister of Jesus Christ,” the Apostle Paul says, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Tim 6:11). The pastor in a special sense is a man of God. This being so, the church has a right to expect the things of him which are in conformity with such a designation.

1. The church has a right to expect that its pastor will preach the Word of God. If he is a man of God he ought to proclaim the message of the One whose name he bears. He accepted ordination for this purpose. This is his supreme responsibility.

Jesus said to Peter at the time of his ordination, “Feed my sheep.” Paul said to Timothy in a most solemn charge, “Preach the Word.” He already had said to the elders of Ephesus as he was taking his departure from them for the last time: “Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock of God, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). This is what a congregation has a right to expect—to be fed with the manna from heaven. To engage in such a ministry is a holy and incomparable privilege.

When Andrew Jackson became president of the United States, he was overwhelmed with office seekers. Among them was a minister of the gospel. Mr. Jackson said to him,

“And what do you do here?” He replied, “I am a minister of the gospel,” whereupon Jackson said, “Then go home, my dear man, and preach, for I have no office so high as that.” Man of God, preach the Word. Let there be no hunger in the pew for lack of it.

2. The church has a right to expect its pastor to have a shepherd heart. The word pastor means shepherd. It is taken from the sheepfold with all the close contacts that the shepherd has with his flock.

To be a good pastor the man of God must have a heart of compassion, an intense desire to minister to needy humanity. In this respect he ought to be like the Good Shepherd whom he represents. We know something of the shepherd heart of Christ. He looked upon the multitudes with all their sin and need, and longed to help them, and did.

The minister must love people, the little children, the vivacious youth, those of mature ...

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