A Biblical Call to Pastoral Vigilance -- By: Richard L. Mayhue
MSJ 7:1 (Spr 96) p. 31
A Biblical Call to Pastoral Vigilance1
Senior Vice President and Dean
Professor of Theology and Pastoral Ministry
Guarding Christ’s flock of believers from spiritual danger remains one of the most neglected pastoral duties in today’s church. In addition to commissioning spiritual sentinels to watch over His flock by directing them into truth and righteousness, God has charged these sentinels to protect the flock from doctrinal error and personal sin. Ezekiel 3, 33 and Acts 20 provide clear instruction on the “why’s” and “how’s” of being a “pastoral watchman.” Christ’s shepherding example and pastoral exhortations through church history urge today’s shepherds to undertake their watchman responsibilities faithfully. Undershepherds of the flock will be good servants and obedient imitators of the Chief Shepherd when they regularly watch for and warn of encroaching spiritual dangers.
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“Re-engineering the Church” represented the theme of a recent pastoral leadership conference on how to prepare the church for the twenty-first century. While reading the conference brochure, I responded, “Why re-engineer the church when God designed it perfectly in the beginning? Shouldn’t we inspect the church first and demolish only the portions that don’t meet God’s building code? That way, we
MSJ 7:1 (Spr 96) p. 32
can rebuild the defective portions according to the Builder’s original plan. Who can improve on God’s engineering?”
Obviously, the solution to the problems faced by the church is not re-engineering, but rather restoration to the perfect original specifications of the divine designer. The goal of change should be a return to the church’s biblical roots in hope that she will regain her former glory.
An inspection of the existing church for possible rebuilding/remodeling should include the following types of questions: Have the builders/remodelers consulted the Owner (1 Cor 3:9)? Are they dealing with the original Builder (Matt 16:18)? Does the church still rest on the beginning foundation (1 Cor 3:11; Eph 2:20)? Is the first Cornerstone still in place (Eph...
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