Summary: # 6 in a series on 1 Timothy this sermon deals with the role of the pastor in the local church.
“The Central Role of the Pastor !”
What is a pastor suppose to look like? I have been told on occasion you don’t look like a preacher. I don’t know whether that is an insult or a compliment.
Someone wrote a facetious account called “The Perfect Pastor.”
1.After hundreds of years the perfect pastor’s been found. He is the church elder who’ll please everyone.
2.He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down.
3.He condemns sin, but never steps on anybody’s toes.
4.He works from 8 in the morning to 10 at night, doing everything from preaching sermons to sweeping.
5.He makes $400 per week, gives $100 a week to the church, drives a late model car, buys lots of books, wears fine clothes, and has a nice family.
6.He always stands ready to contribute to every other good cause, too, and to help panhandlers who drop by the church on their way to somewhere.
7.He is 36 years old, and has been preaching 40 years.
8.He is tall on the short side, heavy-set in a thin sort of way, and handsome.
9.He has eyes of blue or brown, (to fit the occasion) and wears his hair parted in the middle – the left side, is dark and straight, the right side, is brown and wavy.
10.He has a burning desire to work with the youth, and spends all his time with the senior citizens.
11.He smiles all the time while keeping a straight face, because he has a keen sense of humor that finds him seriously dedicated.
12.He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time evangelizing non-members, and is always found in his study if he is needed.
Unfortunately he burnt himself out and died at the age of 32. [Source unknown –www. bible.org/illus. - topic- pastoring]
You will remember that Paul left Timothy at Ephesus to work out some issues in that church. Not long after his departure Paul wrote Timothy this letter (1 Timothy). He first dealt with the need for correct doctrine (Ch 1) and the conduct of public worship (Ch 2) [priority of prayer (vv.1-7) & gender roles in worship (vv. 8-12)]. Paul now turns in Chapter three to deal the necessary qualification for church leadership. Anyone can and should serve God. Everyone has the opportunity and the ability to serve God. Every Christian should serve according to their unique gifts and abilities.
But certain positions have specific qualifications. The greater the responsibility the higher the expectations for their ability, conduct and character. In chapter three two positions of leadership in the local church are under consideration, the pastor (vv. 1-7) and then the deacon (vv.8-13).
The Godly Leaders Call (v. 1)
“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
This is the second use of five “faithful sayings” which occur in Paul’s letters (1 Tim 1:15, 3:1, 4:9; 2 Tim 2:11, Titus 3:8). You will remember that we have previously said that these “faithful sayings” are the equivalent of when Jesus saying in the Gospels “Truly, truly or Verily, verily.” When Jesus used those words he was saying, “Pay attention this is important!” That is what Paul is doing here! Each time Paul uses the words “this is a faithful saying” he is underlining a fundamental principle.
The principle here is, The Pastor’s job is a noble calling!
When Paul says “If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work,” Paul is not condoning a selfish ambition for the position and prestige associated with the pastoral office but he is recognizing that it is a noble task.
The New Testament uses several different words to describe the function of the same office we call, Pastor.
“Pastor” (Gr. Poimen – Shepherd) (1 Peter 20:28) places emphasis upon the responsibility of the leadership of the church to shepherd the flock. No shepherd has ever given birth to his sheep. It is the respon-sibility of those in leadership to do for the sheep what they cannot do for them-selves and to make sure that they are in good spiritual condition so that they can do what comes naturally, that is, beget other sheep.
“Bishop” (Gr. Episkopos -overseer) (1 Tim 3:1-2) emphasizes the fact that the leadership is charged with overseeing the local church and as such is responsible for the spiritual well-being of those in the church.
What are the responsibilities of the overseer? They are to manage the church (1 Tim 5:17), to preach and teach (1 Tim 5:17), to pray for the sick (James 5:14), to care for the church (1 Peter 5:1-2) to be examples for others to follow (1 Peter 5:1-2) to lead out in setting church policy (Acts 15:22) and to ordain other leaders (1 Tim 4:14).