April 17, 2020 @ 8:13 PM by: Jennifer Frank
by Pastor Abby Davidson
The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
The image of ‘shepherd’ is probably the most well known when thinking of an image of God. Throughout the Bible, we have examples of different leaders who started out as shepherds and end up as leaders of God’s people. Moses and David were both shepherds before they held positions of authority among the Israelites. It was shepherds who were the first invited to see that God had become flesh the very first Christmas morning. Shepherds were chosen to lead God’s people toward him and to care for them. God has a special place for shepherds in the community of believers.
The word ‘pastor’ means shepherd. We tend to think of a pastor as a leader of a church, but the Bible actually has a much broader definition for the word. A pastor is one who cares for others. A pastor is one who cultivates a sense of family and belonging within a group of people. A pastor is one who creates a safe environment where people can be honest and find healing. This is what God as Shepherd does for us, and this is what we are called to do for others. In that way, we are all called to be pastors and imitate the care that the Good Shepherd provides for us.
In Ephesians 4 we see that there are some who are particularly gifted for this ministry. Here are some characteristics as those who are gifted as pastors or shepherds.
Pastors see the individual needs and not just the big picture.
Pastors are committed to harmony.
Pastors are empathetic.
Pastors are focused on cultivating community within the church.
Pastors are committed to protecting values and principles within a church.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about the different gifts as outlined in Ephesians 4. It’s important to know how you are gifted because this is how the church is edified and built. When everyone is working according to their gifts and calling, the church is healthy and functioning in the role that God calls her to.
For those who are gifted as pastors, we can look to God as our example in caring for others. God cares for our needs. God gives us time and space to rest and reflect. God gently corrects us when we stray and leads us on paths of righteousness. God restores our soul.
So if you are a shepherd, pray that God will show you how you can use your gifts during this time. When the worst of this pandemic is over, the world is going to need a lot of soul-healers who are ready to encourage and minister in the power of the Spirit. Let’s be ready!
Interested in knowing whether you are an apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd or teacher? Take the test at http://www.fivefoldsurvey.com/. Let us know your results!