Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Precepts,Priorities, and Practices of the Pastorate

As we have stated previously, in our opinion, there is no higher calling than the ministry. Knowing that we also read that the Bible states that a man that desires the office of a bishop (pastor) desires a good thing. What a blessing to have the privilege of pastoring God's people. We ended the last time discussing the qualifications for a pastor. We stated that we know of men who have left the pastorate due to circumstances beyond their control that caused them to be unqualified. We also stated that there are some men who have ignored and rationalized the ignoring of the Qualifications set forth in the Word of God.We must reiterate that it is man that has failed not God and God does not change His qualifications regardless of the circumstances. This week let us quickly look at the qualifications in the Bible for the office of pastor.
There are about 22 qualifications set forth in I Tim. 3 and Titus 1. Look at them with me individually. In I Tim. 3:1-7 we see the first qualifications. We first see that a pastor must be blameless. Does this mean he is perfect? Of course not. It means that in the course of his ministry he will be blamed for everything under the sun. He must live above those things and insure that none of them are true. It is a holy thing to be in the office of the pastor. It is important that the pastor be and remian "squeaky clean."
Secondly we see the qualification of being the husband of one wife. This qualification is misinterpreted, sometimes intentionally, so many times. It very plainly says he is to be the husband of one wife. When a man marries a woman, in the eyes of God they are married until separated by death. Note several things concerning this qualification. A man cannot be divorced and pastor. He can do other things such as teach S.S., usher, etc. but he cannot serve as a pastor. Now if his wife has died or does die, he is free to marry another. It does not mean though one wife at a time. This was never in the mind of God! Also, this qualification eliminates a woman from serving as a pastor. Of course there are other scriptures that support that such as a woman not teaching or usurping authority over the man. Face it - the office of the pastor is a position of authority. This again has been intentionally misrepresented to meet someones circumstances. Many would say but it is God that calls to the ministry. We do not intend to lower the status of a woman but to the contrary. God and the Bible elevates womanhood. We are simply saying that we cannot change the qualifications for any reason.
Next we see the qualification of a man being vigilant. This means to be calm and on guard at all times. It goes with the next one and that is sober. A man must be sober or serious or level in his attitude and actions.
For our final one this week let us look at the qualification of good behavior. This means he should be orderly in his conduct and his integrity above question at all times. He cannot do questionable things. Many men are not in the ministry today because they were careless. Careless with money, around females, in their behavior. Kidding is fine but not when it leads to questioning his character. We will link this to the next qualification next time. God bless and pray for your pastor!