A Growing Church: Shepherds of the Flock

 

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This Sunday Jeremy talked about something pastors rarely teach about: pastoral ministry. The primary term for “pastor” in the New Testament was actually “elder.” These were leaders in the church set apart for teaching and other ministries, sometimes on a volunteer basis, sometimes supported financially by the church. Paul makes it clear that the goal of leadership in the church was not to be the sole source of ministry, but to equip the rest of the church to do ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). Every elder/pastor is unique and should serve according to their own personality and gifting. We should expect God to call men and women into pastoral ministry from MCC and should support those who embark on this journey.

 

Key Verse: 

1 Peter 5:1-3 - To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

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Opening Discussion:

If you listened to Jeremy’s talk on Sunday, what stood out to you? Were there any surprises or “aha!” moments?

 

 

 

 

Some people joke about pastors only working one day per week. But do you have any sense of what they do the rest of the time? As a group, try to brainstorm any tasks or roles you think might be a part of pastoral ministry today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at Scripture:

Read Acts 20:17-38.

 

What can we learn from this passage about the role of an “elder” (or pastor) in the first century? How do you think Paul’s role as an “apostle” (literally, ‘one sent out’) compared to the role of the elders he was leaving in charge?

 

 

 

If you were to list the top 5 traits a pastor should have, what would they be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Titus 1:6-9.How do Paul’s traits differ from the ones you listed? How are these requirements related to the mission of the church? 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you think these are meant to be universal requirements, or are any of them flexible/contextual?

 

 

 

 

 

How are members of a church supposed to relate to their pastor? Read 1 Timothy 5:17-21and Hebrews 13:17 and try to sum up what those passages teach. Do you have any further thoughts on how to relate to pastors?

 

 

 

 

 

Split up the following passages in your group, where Paul asks people to pray for him:

Romans 15:30-32; Ephesians 6:19-20; Colossians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2.

What can you learn from those passages about the importance of praying for your pastor and spiritual leaders? How can you pray for our pastor and other pastors you know?

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Application

Is there anyone you know that you think God might be calling to be a pastor? Do you think it would be appropriate to share this with them?