The Word of God to Feed the Flock of God   Leave a comment

Recently, I’ve been regularly hearing sermons from my church and through podcasts where the preacher makes a concerted effort to preach the gospel for the sake of those who might be in attendance and do not know saving grace in Jesus Christ. In fact, I’ve heard among some that this is the primary purpose of the pastor–preaching the gospel so that the lost can be found and the dead can have eternal life.

But I want to suggest that this is not the primary purpose of the pastor. The primary purpose of the pastor is to shepherd the flock; it is to feed the flock so that they may grow in maturity in order to handle more and more solid spiritual food, and to protect the flock from heresy and error that is dangerous to their souls. The primary purpose of the pastor is not to be an evangelist. Making this the primary purpose of the pastor is like using your eyes to smell or your kidneys to pump blood through your system. While the sense of smelling and the process of pumping blood through your body are both important, the nose and the heart have those things covered.

As with most of the things I say and write, there is a fine line to this. The pastor is supposed to share the gospel to the lost. That is how he directly obeys Matthew 28 and how he sets an example for his flock. Yet, when the purpose of his preaching is to convert souls rather than to feed the flock, I think it can lead to a serious retardation of the spiritual growth of the church of God.

And, with that, I am so thankful for my church and for my pastors. Joshua Harris preaches the gospel to the church every week, but he does it in order to feed the soul of the church. Bob Kauflin leads us in music with songs that proclaim the truths of the gospel, but that is in order to break the heart of stone and to let it melt like wax before the awesome radiance of Jesus Christ. And CJ Mahaney’s legacy at that church so clearly reminds me that we, as Christians, never graduate the gospel. Thank God for pastors like these who shepherd the heart of the flock by herding them to the foot of the cross. Yes, more sheep are added all the time, but the attention and care of the pastors are on the flock, making sure that not one of His little children stumble along the treacherous journey.

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Posted June 1, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

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