Pastors in scripture have been given a God-responsibility to shepherd the flock of God. They carry a serious call to protect the sheep. The calling is one that has, at times, been abused or neglected. Today, there is a need for genuine shepherds or pastors to take their God-given place in the local church. In Jeremiah 23, God rebukes the Shepherds that have been placed over the nation of Israel. He confronts them on how they have scattered and abused the flock. But in verse 4, He states that He will raise up shepherds that will feed them. In chapter 23 and verse 15, He states that they will have His heart, and they will feed the sheep with knowledge and understanding. In this blog, I will address several scriptural points to the calling to leadership to the pastor.

[1] The Father’s Heart

The most important attitude for the pastor is to have a father’s heart. In 1 Corinthians 14-15, Paul writes of the paternal and fatherly heart that he has for the church. This means that he has a strong protective attitude over the believers that are under his care. This is vital for the pastor to have. This is a warrior’s heart over the flock. Jesus said in John’s Gospel chapter 10, how He is the door of the sheep. The only way that one can truly lead the church is if they come through the calling and anointing of the Lord Himself. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” The voice of God is a father’s heart. The sheep should know that voice by the love that the shepherd has over the flock. This heart is one that the Lord gives to the genuine pastor. All others are hirelings.

[2] Protector

It is so important to understand that the priority calling with the father’s heart of the pastor is to protect and feed the sheep.  In Acts 20 verses 28-32, Paul calls the elders [pastors] of the church together and instructs them on his behavior towards them. He then goes on to challenge them on the thing that is most important to him, and that is that after his departure, savage wolves will come in among them to destroy the flock. He reminds them the Holy Spirit has made them overseers and shepherds for the flock. They carry the weight and responsibility to protect the sheep that they have been given the anointing and calling to lead. Therefore, they are responsible to take heed to themselves and the church that God has purchased with His blood. In 2nd Peter chapter 2, Peter addresses one of the key concerns he had for the church. This amounted to destructive doctrine, teachings, and depravity of character. He had such a concern for the pastors to always watch out for all the heresies that would attempt to come in and destroy the flock. 

[3] Government

To be effective as a pastor, there must be an idea of oversight. In 1 Peter 5:2, Peter tells the elders [pastors], “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseer, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; not as being masters, but being examples to the flock.” In Titus 1:5, Paul tells Titus, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—.” Governing as a pastor is not as a dictator or master; it is a God-given responsibility that is a calling and anointing given by the Holy Spirit to keep and guard the church. As pastors, we have been entrusted to watch over the church with the attitude of the Savior, who is the Chief Shepherd. For this to happen, there must be an understanding of authority that scripture gives to accomplish this. 

[4] Equip and Train

Connected to governing by the Holy Spirit, there comes the responsibility to equip and train. The main purpose of the pastor is to empower the believers for them to win and overcome in life. In 1st and 2nd Timothy, Paul lays out 2 vital responsibilities:  [1] Knowing the state of the world, Timothy is  called to instruct the brethren in the word of life. As he takes heed to his own conduct, he is to teach as an example to save both himself and those that hear. In 2 Tim. 3:16-17 & 4:1-5, Paul instructs Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for correction, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Ephesians 4:11-14 speaks that God gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. This is a responsibility with a God-given anointing to equip the saints for the work of ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come to the measure of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect [or perfected] man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.  This carries a great weight of responsibility on the pastors. [2] In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul tells Timothy, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

The success of the church is in the calling of the leadership. As we just saw in Ephesians 4, Jesus gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. This is to equip and empower the believers in such a way, that no matter what comes against them, they have been completely furnished in everything so that they can stand against any test that hell might throw their way. Jesus said in Mat. 16:18, “I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”  

As pastors, we are building up God’s people so they can, in turn, build up others. The ministry keeps growing and growing. Without shepherds, the sheep will be scattered, but with God-appointed servant leaders, there is nothing that can stop the church from accomplishing all that it is called to be. Jesus will build His church, and we are the church.


Pastor Giovannetti