2018-07-29 10:15:41

/ July 29, 2018 - 10:15 am / 17 min / Viewed 137 times

Philippians 4:1

Beloved …

A Peculiarly Sacred Bond
A pastor’s relationship with the people of the church is hard to define. Many
factors contribute to the dynamic between the minister and individuals in
the congregation. Pastors are in the unique position of being one among
brothers and sisters in the household of God and at the same time have the
responsibility of leading and overseeing the flock as an “under-shepherd” of
Christ. The apostle Paul was not the pastor of the church at Philippi or any
of the other churches he wrote to, but he does provide an excellent
example of what the pastor/people relationship looks like. While there are
plenty of instances in which he was frustrated, angry and even disrespected
by some in the body there are consistently at least three admirable pastoral
sentiments noticeable in his communication with the churches that stand
out in our text. First, he understood himself as a spiritual sibling to other
believers. There was a bond in the blood of Christ that was thicker than that
of natural birth-lines. That bond in Christ was a bond in the love of Christ
which manifested itself in deep affection for the people. It also meant that
he was in no way above anyone else in the church – they were all children
of God by grace alone. Second he saw his work among them as vital and
profitable. When he saw them grow and prosper in the Lord he found true
joy because, not only were his labors worthwhile, they were growing in the
grace and knowledge of the Lord through his ministry among them. Third he
was gravely concerned that they stay firmly on the foundation they had in
Christ Jesus. He had full confidence that the Lord called them and would
keep them – but he also knew that they would constantly face attacks on
their faith and challenges to their perseverance in the ways of the Lord. The
intimacy, investment, and interest in the spiritual well-being of the people
(among many other pastoral attributes) that Paul displayed for those under
his care are exemplary and inspirational. They are things for which your
pastors (and elders and deacons) continually stand in need of God’s grace
and your prayers!