Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, Mar. 17, 2002, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
WHY EVERY CHRISTIAN NEEDS A GOOD PASTOR
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:17-25
Text: Hebrews 13:24
Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
Introduction: Next Sunday it will be 30 years since I surrendered to God’s call to the ministry. From the beginning, I believed that God’s call for me was a call to pastor.
According to Ephesians 4, pastors are God’s gift to His people. A pastor is a shepherd over God’s flock. A church that goes for a long time without a pastor is not what God intended. God uses human instruments to guide His flock, as well as He uses the Holy Spirit and the word of God.
I want to talk to you this morning on the subject, “Why Every Christian Needs A Good Pastor.”
I’ve sometimes joked with people in introducing myself. I might say something like, “I’ve kept our people from having a GOOD pastor for nearly 16 years!” Sometimes I will see someone who asks how our services are going. I’ll say something like, “Well, we would do a lot better if we had a better preacher!”
I do want to BE a good pastor. I am not preaching this message to you because I want you to think I am a good one. I am preaching it because I believe it is a truth that you need to hear.
Listen to me on this. If a man is right with God, then he has a right relationship with his pastor. Your pastor is not perfect, but he is God’s shepherd for you.
I hope that you will also see this morning why you can’t really be a dedicated, growing Christian unless you attend all the services over which your pastor presides and at which your pastor brings the message from God’s word.
I hope that you will also see why EVERY Christian should be a church member, and that the most important factor within God’s will in choosing a church is the man of God overseeing that flock.
I’ve known Christians who have gone years without following their pastor, without obeying their pastor, or without even having a pastor. These Christians are more like goats than sheep. As a matter of fact, I always suspect those people of being goats, lost people, people who have never been saved. When a person gets saved, I believe that God puts a love in his heart for his preacher.
HERE ARE SOME BENEFITS FROM HAVING A GOOD PASTOR AND REASONS WHY EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE UNDER A PASTOR:
I. THE PASTOR PORTRAYS A CONSISTENCY THAT YOU MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE BELIEVE IS POSSIBLE
1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
No, he is not perfect, but a good pastor will set an example of faith and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
A. A consistency in faith
B. A consistency in faithfulness
II. THE PASTOR POINTS YOU IN A DIRECTION THAT YOU MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE CHOOSE TO GO
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
A. In setting your priorities in life
B. In steering your children through life
III. THE PASTOR PROVOKES YOU TO ATTEMPT THINGS THAT YOU MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE TRY
Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
A. To stand up for Christ
- Public profession
- Church membership
B. To serve the Lord
- Attending every service
- Teaching a class
- Working on a bus route
C. To save the lost through soul-winning
- You CAN win souls
- If what you are doing isn’t working, why don’t you enroll in our church’s soul-winning training program?
IV. THE PASTOR PREACHES TRUTHS THAT YOU MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE DISCOVER
1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
A. In scriptures that you overlooked
B. In services at church that you forsook and did not attend
V. THE PASTOR PROTECTS YOU FROM ENEMIES THAT YOU MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE SEE
Acts 20:28-29 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
A. Preachers who are wrong in their doctrine
B. Pals who are wrong in their dedication
- Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
VI. THE PASTOR PREVENTS ACCIDENTS THAT YOU MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE EXPECT
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
A. Due to distraction or ignorance on your part
B. Due to destruction ahead of which you are unaware
VII. THE PASTOR POINTS OUT DEFECTS THAT YOU MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE OBSERVE
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.