SHEPHERDING YOUR PASTOR
Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature he will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the spirit will from the spirit reap eternal life. Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:6-10
This is an appropriate time to teach this even as I leave this congregation. We teach a lot about how a pastor ought to shepherd the flock, but rarely do we teach about the responsibility of the flock to the pastorate and to larger family of believers.
In the book of Galatians, Paul is admonishing the church on the way they need to practice Christianity. He tells them that they initially sowed in the spirit and they were now sowing in the flesh. He speaks to them about the ministers he’d given them, some whom infiltrated their ranks had exploited the church for their own selfish gains.
The church then distanced themselves from their pastors in reaction to the wrong doctrines they preached which were-no gospel at all. This is synonymous with what is happening currently in our society today. Many churches have exploited their flock and have brought apathy to the things of Christ.
Even with that in mind, there are many churches that preach the correct doctrine and this is what Paul refers in the above excerpt. Pastors participate in all manner of activities in their congregation’s life. They pray for their congregants to get jobs, marriages, health, weddings, funerals birthdays, counsel and so on. It’s draining and demanding in as much as it’s their calling.
As Paul writes, it is refreshing for the flock to share with their shepherds the good that comes from all these. Whether materially or in kind. For it is a biblical principle that to sow in matters of the kingdom will bring the sower a multiplied harvest in the fullness of time.
Shepherds need to know that the job they prayed with you about materialized; the counsel they gave worked, you were healed of the disease they prayed with you about, your marital issues were resolved and so on and if by the generosity of your heart you bless them financially, it is counted in heaven.
They are human too. With families and struggles like all of us. They have feelings and get drained with the issues of life like we all do and its incumbent upon the flock to take care of their own pastors. It revives them for the many tasks they are entrusted with of equipping the body of Christ. Reciprocate all the good things when you have opportunity for this noble.
Family of believers
Paul also counsels the church in Galatian to extend the same good deeds to all men but especially to the family of believers because therein lies the blessing of the lord. A Christian ought not to struggle to share out their abundance for the bible is clear on the good things that come from such acts of kindness. In Luke 6:38;
Give, and it will be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the same measure you give, it will be measured to you.
Take note that these things we give are not only material. It is the kindness you show others; rejoicing with others, mourning with them, not gossiping about others, loving on others, showing up when other people need you and so on. For it is doing so, that you sow seeds that will come back to you multiplied.
Right now, as a country are going through a political situation and there’s all manner of blame to go around. It doesn’t matter how many prayers we make. If we come out of the prayers and spew hatred for other tribes, then brothers and sisters the same hatred will find us good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.
You and I cannot plant a maize seed then pray to God for a harvest of beans. The maize seed will germinate and give you a multiplied maize harvest. As Christians, we must be propagators of peace and inclusion and then be expectant of the same peace (increased) in our lives, neighborhoods and country.
All of us fall in a certain category as captured in this extract from the book of john 12:1-8;
Six days before Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’s honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took a half a litre of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’s feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected. Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone.” Jesus replied. “it was intended that she save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will always not have me.”
1. The Lazarus Congregation
They enjoy the giving of a minister of God. They follow him everywhere and want to sit with him. They are takers and never givers.
2. The Mary Congregation
They understand the season the minister is in, so, they come to bless the pastor. They do everything necessary to bless the pastor materially so he feels revived. This congregation makes the pastor feel blessed because they encourage him even as they fellowship together.
3. The Judas congregation
They criticize every good thing that is given to the family of believers. They equate the blessings extended to the members as a waste-not because they have grand motive for how the blessings are to be used, but because they want it for themselves.
4. Chief Priest Congregation
They are the ones trying to eliminate all evidence of Jesus miracles (Lazarus). Their motivation is envy, because other people’s blessings make them look bad.
We all as Christians fall in the above categories. As the word of God says, serving him secures our blessings but serving one another and especially the family of believers bestows that blessings in our lives. Let us remember those who instruct us with the word for it’s unavoidable for us to know that institutions that God has set over us carry the blessing and grace but it is individuals who bestow that grace and blessings.
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