The Vision of a Pastor/Shepherd
“Without Vision The People Perish”
One of the major premises of my study of the five fold ministry in the Church is that the five fold is not necessarily offices, but passions, or points of view. What passion drives a person in his love in and for the Church? Through what glasses does the believer see things? What is his vision?
The pastor/shepherd driven believer rejoices with the evangelism over the “new birth” of a person into the kingdom of God, but becomes heavily burdened by the need for the nurture and the care of this new babe in Jesus Christ in his development, his life’s journey now as a Christian, his becoming “mature” in the “fullness of Christ”. It is a tall order.
The pastor/shepherd is driven to establish a “spiritual nursery” for this “newborn” in Christ. Early childhood growth is developmental. We rejoice when our own children first “roll-over, or talk, or take their first step to walk. Humans are helpless at birth. They total rely on their parents, particularly their mother, for nourishment, diaper changes, caring, cuddling, etc. in their early stages of life. Why should we not expect the same from a “new born” in Jesus Christ.
This “new life” is just that, “new”! There is a turning from the old to the new, but the question is how to do that in one’s daily life, one’s daily walk while making daily decisions. How do you “walk out your faith daily”? That is the passion of a pastor/shepherd who “sees the needs” of new believers in their development of growing into the mature image of Jesus Christ, and does everything within their physical and spiritual grasp to meet those needs to help this spiritual newborn to take their first steps of faith, learn verbally how to share their faith, and continually grow.
The pastor/shepherd has to teach practical everyday applications of this faith walk in Jesus: To teach the newborn the power of prayer, the foundation of reading the Bible, the need for intimacy in their relationship to God, to Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, total reliance in a practical way on their new found faith in Jesus Christ, and so much more.
Without a pastor/shepherd driven believer who seeks out these new believers and sees their needs, that new believer will be dumped at the doorstep of the world and will not survive. Many a newborn has “back-slidden” or gone back “into the world” because that is where they were dumped after their “new birth” because a pastor/shepherd did not rise from the body of Christ to walk by their side relationally in their every day life to nurture their care in their new faith walk journey.
That is why it is so important to have a pastor/shepherd and an evangelist side by side in their ministry. The evangelist “sees” the needs of the lost; the pastor/shepherd “sees” the needs of the new believer. The evangelist “sees” and quotes John 3:16 while the pastor/shepherd “sees” and quotes I John 3:16. How often have we alienated these two passions, these two different points of view, dividing the Church rather than unifying and strengthening the body of Christ? That is why the five fold ministry and the “laying down your life for your brethren” is so important in not only developing the individual believer, but developing the entire “body of Christ”.
Without the evangelist there is no birth; without the pastor/shepherd there is no development. Both of their “visions”, their points of view, their passions are needed in the nurture of the Christian and the Church.