Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ministry of Pastor (Part VIII)

By Odon Bulamba (10th Nov 2000)

QUESTION: what is the difference between a pastor and an elder

The difference is: among the pastor’s requirements, elders lack a few things they must work on. The pastor is meant to fulfill all pastors’ requirements. For example, Paul was an elder in the church, 1 Peter 5:1 but because he was not married, he couldn’t be a pastor. But he would decide together with the pastor. Elder can miss one to three requirements.

According to the Word, the pastor is someone blameless, so if people blame you, it means you are not able to do that work. You must pray God will help you be blameless. It doesn’t mean that Satan will not try to find a way to get you and reproach you as he did with Job. His friends were the ones who condemned him. Satan tries to prove to the pastor he is not worthy of the job, but Titus chapter 1 tells us that the pastor is even a friend to pagans.

Unbelievers also will testify who the pastor is. A shepherd who finds a lost sheep, he doesn’t leave this sheep but he takes it back, although the sheep doesn’t belong to him. He will look after it. So the pastor also has a contact with pagans. The pastor might come into a pub and talk with the drunkards, tell them the good news. Most pastors today are the pagan’s enemy. And if you want to be saved, they ask you to go to church; they can’t tell them the good news as they walk along with you. He can’t find the time to discuss with you in a garden. He just waits for you to come to church.

The pastor is a pastor everywhere. A shepherd doesn’t remain just in his sheep pen; he sometimes goes away to the top of the hills, or down a valley to find grass. So he can leave the sheep’s pen. This is to say that your sheep might also go to other churches. Never tell your sheep, you belong to me, you stay here and never go to other churches.
This is a problem in churches today. The pastor will ask you where you went to church last Sunday and if you can say, I went to x church, you must explain why. That will be a problem. And because you don’t want to create problems you might lie and say you stayed home because you were not well. You will deceive the pastor because he didn’t ask a good question.

So Pastors accept your sheep to wander around and learn other things. Many pastors don’t want that because somewhere else, they might be taught something against their denomination and he might lose souls.

I personally visit many churches, Catholics, Methodists, even mosques to see what is there. How can I criticize a Muslim when I don’t know what a mosque is, or an Imam?
How can I say that Muslims can’t pray or fast if I have never done it with them? So I must be there to see how they do things, to have a testimony to give. I can’t believe all the Christian books written like a cold war, Pentecostals can’t stand the Baptists and the Baptists can’t stand the Apostolic and so on. So I must go and see what it is, and if I see mistakes, I pray for that church so that they might see again.

I said that pastors shouldn’t lock up their sheep in a pen, as many usually say, “This is my Christian”. Pastor, you must know that Hayley is not your Christian. Hayley belongs to God. So know your place and your authority. When you are given Christians always remember these Christians belong to God and not to you.

If someone came to you with a NZ $1 million jewel, and told you, “Steve, keep this for me”. I think that all your thoughts, your heart and all your life will be there, and if someone walks past the room where the jewel is, you will feel you must check. At every minute, every move in the house, you will go and check on it, because you know this is very valuable and it doesn’t belong to you. So if you lose this jewel, it will cost me a lot and this is what pastors must do with their sheep: know they are jewels of great value in God’s eyes, and they don’t belong to them.

They record their member’s names in big books,
- Steve was baptized in a Pentecostal church, Nathanael was baptized in a Baptist Church so his name will be recorded in the Baptist church book. And when others come to visit they show them the book,
- This is our Christian and his name is in our book.

So pastors, make sure their names are recorded in the celestial book and not in your church book. This is very important.

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