The service will also include communion, along with the commissioning of Nathan Gordon to the role of Minister in Training at SBC.
Certain things just seem to go together, like strawberries and cream, and like churches and Pastor’s! Paul has already spoken of the church as a family, a field and a temple, now he proceeds to identify the marks of authentic pastoral ministry with Pastor’s being 3 things:-
1 – Servants.
The word used for servant is not the usual one of “waiter on tables” (1 Corinthians 3 v 5 – Deacon)) but “underling” which denotes a slave who rowed in the bottom tier of a Roman galley. So while elsewhere Paul refers to the Pastor engaging in a noble task (1Timothy 3 v 1) who is to be highly respected by the church (1 Thessalonians 5 v 12) the bottom line is that Pastor’s are – “servants of Christ” who will be judged by others; who will judge themselves; and who ultimately will be judged by the one whom they seek to serve (2 Corinthians 5 v 10.)
2 – Stewards.
A steward owns nothing but manages everything for his master, such as Joseph in Potiphar’s house (Genesis 39.) As stewards Pastors are – “entrusted with the secret things of God” which means that they must faithfully expound the Bible in a way that people can understand. To do this effectively they need to accept the authority and centrality of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3 v 16) and not manipulate or distort the Gospel message that has been placed in their trust.
3 – Scum.
The scene now moves to the Roman amphitheatre, where at the end of proceedings criminals in the name of sport would do battle with lions and gladiators. In similar fashion – “God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena.” They are regarded as – “the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.” There will be times when, inside and outside the church, the Pastor will be despised and opposed and regarded as “the scum of the earth” (2 Timothy 3 v 12.) In the light of this the temptation can be to compromise in the name of popularity, but faithfulness and integrity are to trump the desire to be liked.
The common denominator between these 3 marks of the authentic Pastor is HUMILITY. And so all Pastor’s need to be humble before Christ; humble before the Bible that they seek to expound; and humble before the church and the world (Mark 9 v 35) whose opposition they will inevitably arouse.
Who would be a Pastor? Thankfully it is not a role that someone would choose, but a divine calling!
Theme: “The marks of an authentic minister”
Reading: 1 Corinthians 4 v 1 – 13
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Richard Sills