Go

White Oak Baptist Church

My Role in the Church: Pastor

My Role in the Church:  Pastors

2 Timothy 4:1-5

Introduction

*              There are many roles and functions of a pastor and Paul tells Timothy a few of them       according to our main verse today.                 

*              He tells Pastors to keep their heads in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and discharge all        the duties of their ministry (v.5).  He went on to say in (Ephesians 4:12), Pastors are to prepare God's people for       works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up and to direct the affairs of the church (1Tim. 5:17). 

*              Jesus tells the Pastor to “feed His sheep” in (John 21:17) and Solomon said in (Proverbs 27:23), “Be sure you know          the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.”

*              While there are many roles and many other roles not mentioned that a Pastor has to accomplish, there is but one role which   I believe is his greatest role of the Pastor, and that is to Keruzon ton logon”, “preach the Word.”

*              No other role given to the NT pastor is given with a solemn charge.  And the emphasis needs to be on preaching “the Word      of God” and not preaching a “sermon of their own words.” 

*              Mark Twain attended a Sunday morning sermon. He met the pastor at the door afterward and told him that              he had a book at home with every word he had preached that morning. The minister assured him that the sermon was an original. Clement still                 held his position. The pastor wanted to see this book so Clement said he would sent it over in the morning. When the                 preacher unwrapped it he found a dictionary and in the flyleaf was written this: "Words, just words, just words."

*              It was King James I who became annoyed with the irrelevant ramblings of his court preacher and shouted up to the pulpit:                 "Either make sense or come down out of that pulpit!" The preacher replied, "I will do neither." 

*              And that’s the problem with today’s preaching; the pulpit is filled with men who don’t need to be there. 

*              It’s not the pastor’s words that convicts a heart, converts a soul or challenges their faith it is the Spirit of God using the Word of God through the man of God that does so.

*              The world does not need sermons; it needs a message. You can go to seminary and learn how to preach sermons, but      you will have to go to God to get messages.”  -Oswald J. Smith.

*              Therefore, let’s take a deeper look at the role of the Pastor’s preaching.

I.             The Solemn Charge of the Pastor’s Preaching: (vv. 1-2a, 5)

                *              The greatest thing I can do for this church is to faithfully fulfill my role of preaching the Word.  Sometimes you’ll                                      agree and sometimes you want, sometimes you’ll rejoice and other times you’ll get upset, sometimes the message                                     will hit you between the eyes and other times it will be a complete miss.

                *              Regardless, know this one thing:  I preach because of a calling and charge from God and I seek to please Him and                                   not people with the messages He gives me. 

                *              Please notice the seriousness of this charge:  In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living                                       and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom.  I’d say that makes the role of a pastor a step above any                                                 other role in the church.     

                *              The word “charge” Paul used means “to charge as if it were before witnesses.”  In this case God, Christ, His                                         Second Coming and the Kingdom of God. 

                *              So think about the pastor’s role here, every time a Pastor preaches to you the church, we are doing it in the presence                                                 of the witnesses of God, Christ, His Second Coming and the Kingdom of God. 

                *              That should take on deeper meaning with all Pastors and cause them to think twice about what they have to say in                                 the pulpit.

                *              But that’s not always the case, one pastor never prepared during the week, and on Sunday morning he'd sit on the                                    platform while the church was singing the hymns desperately praying, "Lord, give your message, Lord give me your                 message." One Sunday, while desperately praying for God's message, he heard the Lord say, "Ralph, here's my                                          message. You're lazy!"

                *              John Wesley used to ask his young men whom he had sent out to preach two questions: "Has anyone been                                                                converted and did anyone get mad?"  If the answer was "No," he told them he did not think the Lord had called them                       to preach the Gospel, and sent them about their business.

                *              As Paul told Timothy to “preach the Word” he also told his other understudy Titus, “In your teaching show                                               integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:7-8).

                *              Just as an ambassador is not entrusted with his own message but with his superior's message, so the Pastor is                                               entrusted with the holy Word of God; no one else bears this role and responsibility.

                *              The Pastor has a solemn charge and that is he must “preach the Word” while the witnesses of God, Christ, and the                                    promises of the return of Christ and His kingdom looks on.

                *              We have seen the solemn charge of the Pastor’s preaching to preach the Word and keep our head in all situations,                                    endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of our ministry.  Now let us see the steadfast                                   commitment of the Pastor’s preaching.

II.            The Steadfast Commitment of the Pastor’s Preaching:  (vv. 2b-4)

                *              Paul went on and stated to preach the Word in and out of season, in other words, when it’s popular and not popular,                                                 when it is socially acceptable and when it’s socially condemned.

                *              It doesn’t matter what is culturally or politically acceptable when it comes to the Word of God, preaching the Word                                 stays the same.  As Pastors we are to correct, rebuke train and instruct and they only way that is done is by being                                      prepared and studied.

                *              But today, many Pastors are giving in to the culture and watering down the Word of God to try and gain larger                                           crowds.  We’re doing everything but bringing in the Barnum and Bailey Circus to get people to come through the                                       doors and if we can’t keep them entertained they’ll leave and never come back.

                *              Preaching today is like cotton candy, full of fluff and when you eat it there’s nothing there. (Cartoon on preaching)

                *              Most preaching today is all about self, but at the center of God’s Word is Christ, not man!

                *              Pastor’s today are preaching messages that make people feel good about themselves and moral but not godly. They                                                 have given in to the people’s wants and now are preaching sermons that tickle their ears.

                *              Notice the contrast Paul gives in these verses:  sound doctrine (God’s Word) vs. tickling ears (man’s sermon), truth                                     (God’s Word) vs. myths (man’s sermons).

                *              Sound doctrine may not be what people WANT to hear but it is what they NEED to hear. It’s only sound doctrine                                     and truth that can take a sinner from the gutter to glory and make him holy.  

                *              Evangelist and Bible teacher John Bevere said, Many ministers are careful to deliver a positive message that                                      will attract the multitudes; they forego a strong, reproving message that will bring the changes we need to                                           face a holy God.”

                *              People don’t want to hear messages of sound doctrine anymore because they are too convicting and make them                                      make choices about life and causes them to have to change their sinful ways.  Who wants that?  Preach how I can                                   make more money, gain more things, live my best life now.

                *              Charles Spurgeon in the 1800’s addressed the issue of the downgrade in the churches of his day with these words:                                     “Providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in Holy Scripture as one of the functions of the                                         church…Now, surely, it our Lord had intended His church to be the caterer of entertainment, and so                                      counteract the god of this world—He would hardly have left so important a branch of service unmentioned.                                       Where do the “public entertainers" come in?”

                *              When Pastor’s abandon their primary role of preaching the Word of God in and out of season, and give in                                         and exchange it for preaching what people want to hear, then that is when the people will turn aside from                                             truth to myths and we’ll have churches filled with lost people thinking they’re saved, or at most baby                                     Christians, and the church will have no more power than a dead battery in this world.

                *              The Pastor’s role is to be steadfast in the Word of God regardless of what the world or people think about Christ, His                                 Word or even the Pastor himself.

Conclusion

*              We have seen the solemn charge of the Pastor’s preaching and the steadfast commitment of the Pastor’s preaching, but what                 is the Church’s response to the Pastor’s role.

*              The Book of James states (James 3:1).

*              Because a Pastor’s role is to be judged more strictly and held accountable before God and Christ far more so than anyone                     else, then the church needs to respond to him by the following ways found in (Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Tim. 5:17).

                                *              Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you

                                *              Consider the outcome of their way of life

                                *              Imitate their faith

                                *              Obey your leaders so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you

                                *              Submit to their authority they keep watch over you as men who must give an account

                                *              The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor (respect and                                                                          remuneration-money) especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "Do                                                    not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."

                                *              Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses

*              Pastors are God’s gift to the church and our role is to love the flock and give himself for her just as Christ did.

Read More