Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Protecting the Church

  • Jim Townsley
  • Feb 1, 2018
The primary function of the pastor is to be the shepherd of the flock. The word used for a pastor in the New Testament is “Bishop.” The Greek word for Bishop is “episkopos” and it is properly translated “overseer.” Paul challenged the Ephesian pastors to feed the flock and to take the oversight of the members. 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. -- Acts 20:28.  The role of the pastor of a church is to watch over, feed and protect the church family. Every man of God will be accountable for this great task. 
The primary role of the pastor is to give himself to the Word of God and prayer, but he must recognize this includes protecting the church from dangerous influences that might pervert the Scripture and hinder their spiritual lives. There is more to the pastor’s stewardship of the Bible than sitting in an office reading and studying; he is compelled to meet with people, teach the Word of God and to lead the church in serious prayer. 
Being a shepherd is no easy task. Members, like sheep, tend to stray and become vulnerable. In a short time every church planter will realize his job is more than soul-winning and baptizing new converts. It doesn’t take long and there will be the need to counsel, comfort and correct members of the church. Pastoring a church and shepherding a flock require constant vigilance and care. Where there are people there are problems, but “where sin did abound grace did much more abound.” Every pastor must recognize that shepherding the flock is a main part of his calling. 
Another aspect of the pastor’s job is to protect the church from division. His job is to keep people in fellowship with one another and to stay focused on Christ. The two great commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor. Satan would love nothing more than to cause division in the church. The pastor must learn how to deal with division in a biblical manner and to keep the church family looking to Christ.  
In addition, the pastor is responsible to feed the flock, this requires many hours of study and preparation. The early days of the new church may not require many hours of sermon preparation, but over several months and years the church family will expect to be fed from the weekly messages which will require much time, study and prayer.  The only way to effectively protect the church form doctrinal error is to provide strong doctrinal teaching and preaching that will build their faith. Believers must learn how to detect and expose false teachers. 
Another role of the pastor is to protect the flock from worldly influences. Our culture of the internet and mass media exposes our people to many dangers. The modern day internet has provided a platform for many false teachers. Often a pastor is blindsided by a member stating he has come to a different opinion about a particular doctrine. There are thousands of false teachers on the internet and many on television that can easily deceive a young believer. Believers must be trained to seek the counsel of their pastor so that they will be less vulnerable to false teaching. A pastor can do a brief research of almost anyone and many times it reveals they work from their basement and don’t really have a church. Some of these self-proclaimed prophets have sketchy pasts and a secret private life. The Bible uses strong language when it describes false teachers. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. - - Philippians 3:2.  Believers can be sucked in by their deception therefore they must be warned that false teachers are lurking to find people they can deceive. There are additional dangers in addition to false teachers on the web. The devil is using the internet to disqualify many preachers through dangerous and evil sites.  Families must be warned and precautions must be taken to protect men, women and children. 
The pastor has many responsibilities and his job is not an easy one, but the unique role of the pastor is a high and holy calling. It is in fact the greatest calling on earth. We must not forget our purpose by being diligent to protect the church. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! -- Romans 10:15