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Foundations: Why The Church Exists (part 2) The Pastor’s Responsibility
Archived – January 28, 2024

Foundations: Why The Church Exists (part 2) The Pastor’s Responsibility

January 28, 2024

Foundations: Why The Church Exists (part 2)

The Pastor’s Responsibility


Why Church?

The two institutions that God has given His approval to in the world:

1) Marriage

2) The Church

There is a shaking in the Kingdom of God with churches and their mission and how they do things.

Churches and how people relate to them have changed over the past few years in some very big ways, particularly in the last 4 years after Covid.

The Covid situation popularized the idea that church experience is just as good online as it is in person.

Covid also emphasized the idea of attending multiple churches online and enjoying more content at the expense of relationships – and relationships actually aid spiritual growth.

Information does not translate into personal transformation without relationships.

Bottom line is that we need in-person church services. We need to be a part of a local church!

What does God say about the local church in America?

Why does the church exist?

Why do I need to be a part of a local church?

Can’t I be a good Christian without being committed to a church?

Can’t I just listen to ministry on Facebook or on websites I find and be a good Christian?

Who started this whole church thing anyway?

Is it ok to have several churches that I attend, and just not be committed to any of them?

What am I supposed to get out of going to church?

How often should I attend church?


Notice again Matthew 16:18-19

Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

Remember that ours is first of all a spiritual battle!

Ephesians 6:12-13 (AMPC ) .

For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

We are to enforce the will of heaven, God’s will, on earth!

Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

That enforcement starts in our prayer life! Come and pray with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

We are called out to make a difference in our communities!

We are salt and light! We keep the kingdom of darkness at bay.

Isaiah 60:1-3 (NKJV)

Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.


What is the Role of a Pastor in a Local Church?

Christians years ago had the idea that the job of the pastor was to:

  • Preach on Sundays.
  • Visit all the sick in the hospitals and at home.
  • Pray for everybody wherever and whenever.
  • Make sure the church building is in good shape.
  • Cut the grass.
  • Talk to everyone anytime they call day or night.
  • The pastor or preacher was to do it all. A one-man show. A jack of all trades.

This is one perspective.

Others view the pastor as the person to foster social interaction, and church becomes one big social event.

Then also today there are churches that major on prophetic ministry, that major on manifestations of the Holy Spirit. While these things are okay with balance, they should not be the main focus of a local church.

A healthy church

Healthy Churches maintain a healthy balance of preaching the Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself with spiritual gifts and with the tangible presence of God. They create an environment for relationships, and then together reach out to the community.

A healthy believer puts:

The Word first

The Spirit second

Experience last

All Word – you dry up!

All Spirit – you blow up!

Mixture of Word and Spirit – you grow up!

We need to be very careful that we emphasize the right things.

We are going to see in just a moment that a church is a breeding ground for developing disciples of Jesus.

And according to Jesus, the primary way to be a disciple is to develop yourself as a person who bases his life on the Word of God.

John 8:31-32 (Holman Christian Standard Bible, HCSB)

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Remember Jesus’ command:

Matthew 28:18-20 (HCSB)

Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

A local church is where disciples (or followers) of Jesus are made.

A pastor’s main responsibility is to minister the Word of God to you.

The strength of our Christian life comes from what we do with the Word of God.

Isaiah 33:6 (NKJV)

Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,

And the strength of salvation;

The fear of the LORD is His treasure.

1 Peter 2:1-3 (NLT)

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

1 Peter 5:1-4 (NKJV)

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd (KJV – Feed) the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

1 Peter 5:2-3 (AMPC)

Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;

3 Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).

Jesus is the Chief Shepherd. A pastor is the undershepherd under the Lord Jesus Christ.

My most important role as a pastor is to minister the Word of God to you week after week in a way that you can practically apply it to your personal life.

Acts 20:28 (NLT)

So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.

Receiving the Word is the fundamental foundation of becoming a disciple!

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NLT)

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Notice that the ministry offices are there to equip God’s people to do His work and to build up the church.

Each ministry office has the responsibility before anything else to minister the Word of God.

Notice the charge God gives pastors:

Acts 20:28 (NKJV)

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock that the Holy Spirit has appointed you to as overseers, to shepherd (KJV- feed) the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.

Acts 20:32 (NKJV)

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Jeremiah 3:15 (NKJV)

And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 23:4 (NKJV)

“I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.

John 10:11-14 (NKJV)

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves

the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

John 21:15-17 (NKJV)

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep. 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”

A Pastor preaches the Word in such a way that four things happen:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16 (AMP)

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),

2 Timothy 3:16 (PHILLIPS)

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for re-setting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living. The scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God and fit him fully for all branches of his work.

2 Timothy 3:16 (GW)

Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval.

2 Timothy 3:16 (CJB)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living;

2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.


(Wuest Word Studies)

didaskalia – teaching – teaching material


(Wuest Word Studies)

Elegmos – “conviction.” The verbal form elegcho means “to rebuke another with such effectual wielding of the victorious arms of the truth, as to bring him, if not always to a confession, yet at least to a conviction of his sin.”


(Wuest Word Studies)

Epanorthosis – restoration to an upright or right state, correction or improvement” of life or character. Vincent translates, “setting right.”


(Wuest Word Studies)

Paideia – “the whole training and education of children which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose, now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment; whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, especially by correcting mistakes and curbing passions, hence, instruction which aims at the increase of virtue; in biblical usage, chastisement, chastening.”

2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NLT)

I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

To sum up, a pastor has two major responsibilities:

1. My first responsibility is to minister the Word of God.

My primary focus is that you receive the Word in such a way that you are challenged to put it into practice and to change.

If you will come here for one year, attend services and get involved, you will be changed.

The Word of God is more than an ordinary book! It is God’s power! It is His will. If you will put it into practice, you will be transformed.

2. My second responsibility is to give vision and direction to ministry of the local church.

Jesus gives pastors vision and direction in ministry.

There is no higher authority spiritually in a local church than the senior pastor. Notice I said spiritual authority. We have a Board that helps me with the finances here, and we have other members on our pastoral staff team that help with managing day to day things.

To the Senior Pastor God gives direction and focus to that local church and shows him how to produce forward motion.

I’ve made some changes in recent years. For our church to progress I had to make a decision to lead in a different way than I have in the past. I have led with others, and this church grew from 49 people when I came to where we are now.

I have now stepped aside from daily management of day-to-day things and have assumed the role of a visionary or encourager and motivator and general direction-giver, as well as a teacher of the Word!

Meera Short is our Executive Pastor and has taken the role that I had for many years in managing our staff team…

My focus now is on studying, writing, and producing podcasts and blogs and things that enable believers to grow in the Word of God.

If a pastor will give himself to his call, the church will grow spiritually.


Most people view church through their life lens. And when they come to a new church, they view it through the lens of their former church experience.

Don’t allow your church judgments from your past to hinder your present or your future.

My first pastor, as I was a brand new Spirit-filled believer, was found to be living in sin.

I had to be willing to let that go, and choose not to judge other pastors and churches by the standard that pastor set in my life.

I laid that at the feet of Jesus, and allowed Him to work it all out.

Action Points

  1. Do you allow a pastor to speak into your life?
  2. Do you see that the most important thing a local church can do to help disciple people is to preach the Word of God?
  3. Do you see a pastor as the visionary in a church, responsible to give direction to that church and ministry?
  4. If you have been hurt by a pastor, will you be willing to forgive him and give the local church another chance to minister to your life?

Be willing to let go of previous “church” baggage. Be willing to let go of judgments from the past.


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