Pastors After God's Own Heart (Digital)
The biblical term, pastor, denotes one who cares for sheep. This term is used in both the natural and spiritual application. A natural shepherd pastors, or cares for, natural sheep in a manner that is compared to spiritual shepherds and sheep. Psalms 100:3 states: “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Being His people, He cares for us abundantly. His divine care has moved Him to promise us pastors, or spiritual shepherds according to His own heart. This means that God desires those whom He has placed over us to love and care for us with the same heartfelt love that He, Himself, has for us. This places a great burden upon those who have been called to serve in a pastoral position. Secularly-minded or unspiritual pastors cannot have this heartfelt love and will not be able to render true pastoral care to their flocks. When this is the case, the flock will suffer and may even die spiritually. The God-called pastor who is according to God’s own heart will render undying service to all his flock as if he were rending it to God Himself.
The pastor’s calling is a special calling. God calls the pastor to shepherd or care. The overall ministry in the Church was given for the perfecting of the saints. This ministry includes the pastoral ministry as well. It has been observed that a church cannot rise higher than its pastor. If this is true, then our pastoral leadership must be ever so careful to seek the anointing of God and follow Him completely.
Walter G. Lofton
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