Saturday, October 10, 2009

Preaching and the Pastor/Elder

I once heard someone say, "Our pastor’s (elders) are great shepherds but they really are not good preacher’s". I really did not know how to contain myself (those that know me will understand that statement). That’s like saying he’s a good shepherd but when it comes time to feed the sheep he either feeds them junk or he disappears. The pastor, the shepherd is to preach (feed) his flock with the most nourishing of God’s word.

John MacArthur said this: "the God-ordained means of saving, sanctifying and strengthening His church is preaching. The proclamation of the gospel is what elicts saving faith in those whom God has chosen (Rom 10:14). Through the preaching of the word comes the knowledge of the truth that results in godliness (John 17:17; Rom 16:25; Eph 5:26). Preaching also encourages believers to live in the hope of eternal life, enabling them to endure suffering (Acts 14:21-22). The faithful preaching of Gods word is the most important element of pastoral ministry.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy: 2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NASB)
1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

Those may have been the last words Timothy ever heard from his mentor and Spiritual father. In this Paul set forth the Pastors highest priority. But Paul had instructed Timothy in this earlier as well: 1 Timothy 4:13-14, 16 (NASB) 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery…. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

Paul made it clear that the "elder who rules well is to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching" (1 Tim 5:17). After giving Timothy instructions about relationships between Christians masters and slaves, Paul told Timothy to "teach and preach these principles" (1 Tim 6:2). What Timothy had "heard from [Paul] in the presence of many witnesses, he was to entrust to faithful men who would be able to teach others also" (2 Tim 2:2). So important was this that the Holy Spirit through Paul made sure one qualification of the Pastor/Elder was that he be "able to teach".

Sadly many elders have surrendered this part of their ministry to paid professionals we call ministers or preachers (not found in Gods word). People have come to expect their elders to be a sort of corporate board under the CEO (Minister or Preacher). And since we pay him this is what he is expected to do while the Pastor/Elders do what? Well if it is not feeding the sheep of Christs flock He purchased with His blood, they had better re-examine just what they are doing.

What do you think?


  1. Well you knew I would say something :)

    I have stated in other places that I don't think the elder necessarily is the one who "preaches". I think churches can hire others for that job. But the preacher should not automatically become a pastor (elder) in the sense you have stated. And I feel that if the preaching is done by an elder who has the ability to do so (some people shouldn't speak no matter what) then that is the best scenario.

  2. Curiously, if we look at what Paul told Timothy, preaching and teaching is the way the shepherd feeds His" flock." When Jesus gave Peter his commission (feed my sheep, tend my flock, feed my flock) how did he intend Peter to feed? certainly not literal food but rather food from Gods word. todays shepherds are no different.

    a shepherd who does not feed his flock is not a shepherd. he is neglecting the most important aspect of shepherding in the same way a mother feeds her child to nourish him and strengthen him, so too the shepherd

    By the way, I hate the Yankees and am pulling for the Dodgers who were my team growing up when they were in Brooklyn. Go Bums!

  3. Brooklyn, like in the 1950's???????

  4. Thats when the Dodgers were the Dodgers young Jedi. it broke my heart when they moved to la la land. felt the same way about the Giants when they left for San Fran. Oh those were the days as Billy Joel sung it, Tight blue jeans and engeneer boots, slicked back hair and everyone carried a comb

  5. Who is Billy Joel??

    Just joking.