The Vanishing Office (PT 1)
Right from the beginning let me say I don't know who the author of this article is but if I did I would gladly give him credit for it. All I know is that he speaks my language. I thought I wrote it but there are some statements that I probably would have said the same thing but expressed in a different way.
If I were to add a subtitle to this blog it would be: A METHOD TO MY MADNESS. I know that may sound like unbelief but please read the whole article before you make judgement. You probably understand that my observations on any given subject may differ from yours because we may view it from different angles. Most people who read this article are not in the ministry while I have spent the last 39 years in it. This doesn't mean they don't know anything about the Bible or the Lord. It is not a negative statement about anyone but people generally approach their beliefs from their own standpoint whereas I have to look at the big picture. That is my job.
Let me explain. You may be a doctor, lawyer, house painter, secretary, insurance salesman, or a restaurant owner. If you were to use an idiom in a statement like, "Feed them and they will come", it probably will apply to a restaurant owner but not necessarily to a secretary. In my thinking people are fed two ways. One way is through natural food for strength and nourishment. The other way is through spiritual food. Jesus told Peter to "feed my sheep." We all know he was referring to spiritual food although he wants us to feed people that are naturally hungry. I believe that most folks would say that they are generally strict when it comes to eating right naturally. But, when it comes to spiritual food, if you "feed" them according to the Word (and I might add with a good balanced diet), most of the time their standard changes. I find that most people are satisfied to eat spiritual junk food. So, that means that they might not necessarily come.
Jeremiah 3:15 "and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall Feed you with knowledge and understanding." In Acts 20, the Apostle Paul was holding what we would call a Pastors Conference at Miletus with elders. The church was young and these elders became the pastors. In verse 28, he tells them to FEED the church of God, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you OVERSEERS. In 1 Peter 5:2 the Apostle tells the elders to "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the OVERSIGHT thereof..."
God gives us Pastors. You are not to select your own pastor but allow God to give you one "according to his heart."
Eph. 4:11-13, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"
1 Cor. 12:28, "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments (Pastors), diversities of tongues."
Then in the next verse he asked the question, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers"? Etc. Of course the answer is no. We call these ministry gifts, "the 5-fold ministry". But in actuality they are offices set in the church by God. Four of these are rovers or they move about. One is stationary which means it is permanently set in one place, the local church, to tend, look after, watch over, care for the flock. How is the office of the Pastor supposed to tend to his flock?
1. By feeding them with knowledge and understanding.
2. By being a shepherd over the flock. Notice I said "OVER" the flock and NOT UNDER the flock or under the rule of the flock.
In the natural, I have never seen a flock of sheep ruling over a shepherd or any of them having an equal say in decisions. Nor have I ever seen a flock having a vote about the decisions of the Pastor or about anything. There is not any design in the word that declares that there is a democracy in the local church. Now, if you find one, please let me know.
The shepherd leads them to the green pastures where they feed. I have seen at times where goats and wolves try to take over and run the show but never from real bible "sheep". To make it simple, they (the sheep) are to graze and produce wool. Plus, one other thing they are to do; they (the sheep) are to always begat sheep! Never a goat and never a wolf. It just can't happen to a mama sheep. It is simply IMPOSSIBLE!
Think about this. Next time, Part #2.