Pastors According to GodŐs Own Heart

Jeremiah 3:15


A young congregation asked for me to assist them in understanding what a pastor is and what they should look for in a pastor. That is a subject that needs to be understood and appreciated by GodŐs churches everywhere and in every age.


The Lord God promised that he would give his church pastors according to his own heart. That means he will give his church pastors as he sees fit, and pastors who will serve the good of those people he so dearly loves. Those men God gives to his church as pastors, according to his own heart, Ňshall feed you with knowledge and understanding.Ó Here are three things that will characterize every God called, Spirit-anointed, heavenly-ordained pastor.


Every true pastor is a faithful man. Without question, if a man is called of God to the work of the gospel ministry, he will be faithful in the work. His life and conduct will reflect his steadfastness, commitment and faithfulness to Christ. He will faithfully seek the glory of God, study and prepare to preach the Word of God, seek the welfare of GodŐs people and preach the gospel of Christ. He will be faithful to Christ, to the Word, to the church and to his own conscience. No man should be set apart for the gospel until he has proved himself to be a faithful man (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 4:2).


Every true, faithful servant of God is also a fallible, sinful man. The apostles and prophets of old were themselves only frail, fallible, sinful men. They were infallible in the writing of Holy Scripture, as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. But they were not perfect men. Moses smote the rock in anger. Peter cursed and denied the Lord. All the apostles forsook Christ for a while. Paul and Barnabas had a terrible fight over John Mark. And you can be sure every pastor will have many faults. Those who want to find fault with any can easily do so.


Yet every true pastor is GodŐs ambassador, GodŐs servant, GodŐs messenger. He is to be loved, cared for, respected and obeyed as GodŐs representative in his church. Faithful pastors are described by God the Holy Ghost as ŇstarsÓ in the right hand of our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:16). They are stars burning with the light they receive from him who is the Sun of Righteousness. Then the Lord Jesus explains that these men are the angels of God to his churches (Revelation 1:20). Each local church, blessed with a pastor according to GodŐs own heart, have in that man a guardian angel to watch over their souls, giving them GodŐs message from his Word in the power of his Spirit. Those men, whose task it is to serve as pastors in GodŐs church, know that they are altogether insufficient for the work to which they have been called. Yet, being called of God, each one understands that Ňour sufficiency is of God!Ó I often hear people say, ŇI do not follow any man.Ó If you follow God, you will follow that man who speaks for God. You will not err by following a faithful pastor. God commands you to do so!







Don Fortner



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