The title of pastor has a slightly different meaning than elder (“great”, “old”) or bishop (gk “overseer"). The Hebrew word for pastor in the Bible literally means to tend a flock, pasture it, or graze it. It is often translated into the English words “feed” or “shepherd.” It is also translated as pastor or herdsman. The first mention of the word pastor is found in Jeremiah 2:8(KJV); and in Jeremiah 3:15 we learn that pastors are given by God, according to His heart to feed His sheep. Likewise, the Greek word for pastor found in the New Testament is most often translated as shepherd. But, it is translated only once as pastor in Ephesians 4:11.

To help understand the duties of a pastor, we can compare them with the qualifications of a bishop (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Which is to say, a pastor must be patient, can rule his own home, a mature Christian, selfless, devoted, and has a good reputation in the community.

Therefore, a pastor will have a heart after the Lord. He will feed the flock with knowledge and understanding. He will not only feed them, but care for them so that they may be fruitful in every good work. Because of the loving care of their pastor, the flock will be nurished by the Word of God, aware of the Holy Spirit's guidance, and they will have all that they need to grow spiritually (Ephesians 4:11-14).

We can see through the life of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-16, 27) that the duties and responsibilities of a pastor are immense. And as an under-shepherd to Jesus, a pastor must model Christ in his love for the church, so that the church is inspired to follow his leadership and become more Christ-like (1 John 4:14-16). Reverend Jamaal Weathersby exemplifies the role of a pastor according to the Scriptures. He is dauntless in his dedication to the Lord, diligent in delivering the uncompromising Gospel of Jesus Christ and dutiful in devotion to his family and the New Hope Baptist Church, where God has called him to shepherd.

~ Linda Tyler Ponds

This Month's Scripture

Psalm 96:2-9

Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.

Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.