A friend of mine told me once that when he was preparing to speak to a congregation overseas, something happened that he never experienced before.
Before the Sunday morning services, the pastor and elders of the church asked him to hand over his Bible. They explained that they were responsible for the biblical clarity and reliability of the material presented to the parishioners. They also wished to see his sermon notes for a quick review.
They would return the Bible and his sermon notes to him in front of the congregation. It was a tangible way of showing the parishioners that the leadership team was serious about its responsibility of entrusting the ministry of the Word of God to someone they could rely on to deliver the Word of the Lord.
It was a sobering and encouraging reminder about the sacredness of handling the Scriptures well. My friend commented on how it stirred him to consider the privilege of presenting the truths of the Bible to people. It was a heaven-sent task that was not to be taken too lightly.
It also was encouraging to see the depth to which the church elders would go to model their care for the flock of the people under their care.
Read Acts 20:27-32.
In Acts 20, we read that the apostle Paul met with the elders of the church at Ephesus. In his charge to these leaders, Paul warned them of the danger of false teaching (v 28-29), and the responsibility of the church leadership to help the congregation grow in the Word of God (v 32).
Paul added that the overseers of God’s people must be vigilant and watch out for those within and without their churches who are not earnestly committed to the teachings of Jesus. The leaders must “be on their guard” (v 31) to promote the faith by feeding and teaching people the Word of the Lord and protect them from enemies inside and out.
Church and ministry leaders must be united with the Holy Spirit as they carefully and diligently watch over their people, never ceasing day and night to warn the flock about the danger facing them. They need to be constantly pointing them to the only sure foundation – Jesus Christ and His Word.
Has the day to day tasks of ministry ever caused you to miss out on loving people? Who makes up “the flock” for whom you are responsible? In what specific way can you shepherd them? Finish the sentence: One thing I must accomplish at any cost to care for those under my care is to…?
Live communally. No matter what our calling is, let’s handle the Word of God with care. When we do, God’s people will grow. Ask God for His help to study it, live it, and proclaim it clearly. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to change the people of God.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz