Lyn is currently visiting the UK and holding Faye for the first time as well as spending time with our other son and his family. This leaves me holding the fort until she returns on the 2nd November however the children up to now have been stars doing their duties. Schooling for the young ones continues as we are looking at the life and times of Bartholameu Dias the great Portugese explorer.
Work around the mission continues with its development. Wde are currently trying to build a diary room for making our cheeses as well as a butchery for processing our meat. The project will cost around $800 or about R8000 if you feel the burden to help us reach our goal.
We processed our first Pig which proved to be an education on many levels and he was turned into Sausages, Bacon, Hams, Roast joints and Pork chops. The remaining two animals we are hoping will mate and provide us with piglets to sell plus also raising them for future meat.
There is an abundance of chicks at the moment plus plenty of eggs being produced and the Rabbits are currently mating too so meat and dairy wise the future looks good. We have too many cockerals which we will ne turning into patties sometime this week.
The Potato crop has been planted down in the valley. Its a joint venture with our neighbours Benny and Lundi. Our raised vegetable beds are also beginning to bloom too. We have also three Bee hives at various locations. This project will take about 2 years. Nothing happens quickly on the farm. Everything has its season (Ecclesiastes 3)
The last two months though have not been without their difficulties. South Africa has been suffering a gas shortage, the source being the state of the countries economy and the electricity load shedding. Unfortunately this mean all our cooking and hot washing water needs had to be done on the stoep with our large poijke pot. Thank goodness we recently found a source of gas but from the notices we have seen through the suppliers we are not out of trouble just yet.
This last month saw me take Bibles into Swellendam and in so doing I met a lovely Zimbabwean believer named Rose. There are a group of Zimbabweans in town who doi not feel at home with some of the churches and are looking for Bible studies. I was able to furnish them with Bibles and we are praying that when Lyn gets back we can begin some Bible studies for them. Please pray for this.
Our current needs for prayer
- The ability to finish off the dairy room / butchery
- Desperate for a Bakkie work horse for the farm
- Ongoing financial concerns. With health issues over the last few years and hospitalisation I have not been able to travel to speak. Some of our former supporters have stopped giving financially, out of sight and out of mind. The reality is we need the medical insurance for the childrens ARVs and ongoing medical concerns and if new support is not found soon we may have to drop the program and cut our cloth accordingly.
- However we have much to give thanks for. Children remain boyount. Evangelism is opening new doors and as we work the farm God is providing our meat and dairy which is a huge saving.
- Please pray for these needs and that the Lord remain our focus for His mission.
- You can contact me directly or you may contact the following people.
Here is part two on my lecture on Pastoral theology. O pray you find it useful.
Pastoral & Teaching Ministry
The Outward Ministry
- GOALS AND PRIORITIES
It is possible to have goals and priorities, which are far removed from what God desires for the leader. Goals that are worldly rather than spiritual. We see examples of this in scripture, non more obvious than 3John:9 where we see that Diotrephes loved to be first.
Although most leaders will accept that our call is not for empire building or the Lording it over others, it can be easy to fall in these areas even though they have no place in the work of the shepherd or teacher.
We must constantly remind our selves that leaders are for churches and not churches for leaders. Churches do not exist for our benefit or for our livelihood; we exist rather for their good.
Derek Prime in his book ‘Pastors and Teachers says the following:
“Our goal is not to be well known and respected. Our goal is not to have a large church or congregation that draws forth admiration – and perhaps jealousy of others. Our goal is not to draw people around us so that they are loyal to us, rather than to our Lord Jesus Christ. Our goal is not to make ourselves indispensable. Such are goals of ownership, whereas ours are goals of stewardship. Those whom we pastor and teach are entrusted to us, they are not ours but Christ’s.”
The establishing of goals brings benefits and of course pit falls. The main area of benefit is being able to know what we are aiming for and to distinguish these things from secondary issues.
The biggest danger is setting ungodly or unrealistic targets that can in time discourage instead of encourage ourselves and the flock.
This doesn’t mean we must never set targets, its just a snare to watch out for, you see the leaders purpose is to determine the goals which God Himself wants us to aim for.
Scripture identifies for us a number of Pastoral and teaching goals:
- To feed the flock. Read John 21:15-17. Derek prime believes this passage speaks of three areas. A) The young in the Lord who need weaning and nurturing, B) The general flock of God who need sustenance for their souls. C) To establish the flock in the maturity of the faith so they themselves can feed others. The leaders priority is to lead the sheep into lush pastures and it is a good habit to get into if we ask ourselves every time we prepare a word “Will this nourish the people causing them to follow Jesus more closely”.
- Proclaim the whole will of God. Read Acts 20:27. Feeding must include a balanced diet. We not only declare truth but whole truth. And because he had declared the whole council of God, Paul could say in v26 of Acts 20,”I am innocent of the blood of all men”. Paul emphasise this area because it can be a temptation not to preach the whole will of God for the sake of offending people who we know are caught in a particular problem. A good piece of advice, to test if you are teaching in a balanced manner, that is, from both Old and New Testaments and teaching both doctrinal and moral truths, is to keep all your notes and review them every so often to see the flow and direction. If maybe your teaching is going one way, you can begin to draw in a balance in the following weeks.
- Present everyone perfect in Christ. Read Colossians 1:28-29. Feeding Gods people and proclaiming the full council of God are not ends in themselves. The target or goal is present those entrusted to us ‘perfect in Christ’. Perfection is not attainable in this life, yet that does not mean we do not aim for it. Christians need to grow and mature; mature is another rendering of the word perfect. So our aim is to bring the flock of Christ into maturity. Also notice that Paul says ‘Every Man’. Whether young or old, rich or poor, likes and dislikes, if they having been given by God into ou8r charge then we are accountable. This leads us to the word ‘Present’. We have in view the day when God returns for His people and we meet with Him to give an account of those whom God has entrusted to us. It must be a joy to present those who have grown but also a time of mourning for those who we have left to themselves.
- Preparing Gods people for His service. Read Ephesians 4:11-16. Every Christian has a function within the body of Christ. It is the role of the leader to cooperate with the sheep and seek Gods will, to see what gifts they have to contribute to the bodies well being. This means we Disciple in a number of ways. We spend time, we recommend books, suggest training courses, give opportunity for gifts to be tested and exercised. The encouragement of gifts is essential and there is no better place than the home cell or whatever equivalent you may have.
- Equip Gods people to be fishers of men. Read John 10:16. Someone said, “The Church is the only club which exists primarily for the benefit of non members”. The Great commission of Matthew 28:18-20 commands us to take the good news to every creature. Evangelism is never an easy thing for the everyday Christian. There is much to deal with for example rejection, sometimes abusive behaviour, times of plenty with times of dryness. We even have to deal with our own insecurities. Often when we bring along someone who is gifted at evangelism to encourage others at the task it can back fire, leaving some feeling inadequate. It may be of great benefit to explain to your people your own fears and difficulties concerning the sharing of the gospel. Seeing someone else struggle with the same problems can actually have a positive effect on the self-esteem.
- Keep watch over yourself and the flock until the task is complete. Read Acts 20:28-32. Our example will always be under attack. If the devil can cause a shepherd to fall the sheep will scatter. If we guard ourselves we are in a better position to guard the flock as well and we see through scripture that a shepherd not only finds pasture for the flock but also provides security and deliverance. (John 10:9) Jude was a perfect example of a shepherd who desired to write concerning pastoral issues, but had to respond to dangers to the believers and the gospel. Read Jude:3. We are called to teach, encourage, exhort and even rebuke. But when a wolf is among the sheep we have to take the sword and deal with it ruthlessly.
As leaders, Jesus the great Shepherd has to be our prime example. He is our pattern and therefore Preaching claims priority in our work.
His public ministry began with Him preaching. Luke 4:18-19 says:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And
recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” ASB
His message was heard throughout for three years, it was His priority for through it men and women come to saving faith and grow into maturity. Romans 10:14-17 says:
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? even as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!
But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings. For Isaiah saith, Lord,
who hath believed our report? So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing
by the word of Christ.” ASB
Concerning Preaching and Teaching lets look at the following issues:
- The contemporary climate of opinion regarding preaching is something to be taken into consideration. In many churches Preaching has lost its central place. Some say that this reflects the current trend of not having the right to tell people what to do. Psychiatrists prefer the in-directive rather than the directive method of instruction. Some react because of abuse from the pulpit. It can become what is known as a cowards castle where your opinion and not the gospel is given without the preacher being accountable for what they said. Worship times can be so protracted that it takes emphasis off Gods word. Those who do this don’t realise that coming round Gods word is in itself the highest form of worship.
- There is a distinction between teaching and preaching. Derek Prime says: “In teaching we aim to give people an understanding of Gods truth. Beginning often with the first principles of doctrine, we will make sure the people grasp it as best they can in all aspects. Then in preaching we make an appeal to peoples wills as well as their emotions, to respond to that which they have now understood through teaching” We need to understand the distinction for many have made an emotional response to preaching without understanding what they have done. Preaching at its best maintains a balance between Teaching and Preaching.
- The general background to our preaching must be grounded in good preparation. A) We must cultivate our knowledge of scriptures and our own obedience to God through them. B) Wide reading of every kind is valuable. Firstly must come theology books but also biographies and books of general interest where we can draw allusions to from scripture. C) Our experience in life enhances effective preaching. Never look down on the day of small things, like King David God will bring us through experiences that will one day benefit others. One well known Scottish minister spent the early days of his life as a Railway ticket clerk. He later said “There was a lot of human nature to be observed in front of the ticket office window to provide a useful study for one who was to be later a minister”. D) Make it a habit not to lose seed thoughts for sermons etc. Whenever you have a moment of inspiration write it down. Carry a small note book with you. File interesting articles away under category heading. These prove a useful resource to your ministry.
- Preparation for preaching. This can be a very personal process and styles change from person to person. My own style is to first of all seek God for an emphasis. Then we look at scriptures speaking of that particular emphasis. Then I brain storm with sub heading and research. Doesn’t matter at this stage if you have an order to convey this can be done later as you seek Gods priorities for the message. The important thing is that the scriptures and topic used must become alive for you and not just a means of conveying information to others. If the message convincingly effects you it will have the capacity of persuading others.
- Evangelistic messages. Every message must have at its core the Good News of Jesus Christ. Even if the message has at its core the teaching of heavy doctrinal issues, you never know when one of your own congregation or a visitor has the need of spiritual food. Sometimes a visitor may only come once; this means that this is a singular window of opportunity to share the salvation message with them.
- Be yourself. It is god to have had good preachers to model yourself on, but in the end your own personality has to come through. It is this God wants to use as it contains sincerity.
- We need to balance the tension between notes and full manuscript. The key is not to be tied to either. Personally I use both methods according to where I am and what I am doing. If I am in the capacity of a college lecturer, I have an awful amount of systematic theology to convey as well as other information. Not having the best of memories means that I use full manuscript which is basically the lecture notes to ensure the students get everything they need. Preaching a sermon is different. Although I use full manuscript to ensure my language is as correct as possible, I highlight certain lines and try and let these guide me. Full manuscript always acts as my security blanket just in case I wander to far off the subject.
There is no greater privilege in the world than preaching and teaching the Word of God. Because to the Preacher/Teacher is committed the privilege of proclaiming the riches to be found in Jesus Christ and to make understandable the meaning of salvation to all who will hear.
- PASTORAL CARE
As you develop your leadership potential and begin to put into practice the principles of scripture required of a true shepherd of Christ, you will begin to understand that what goes on in public on a Sunday is just the tip of the Iceberg.
People can be found who thing that pastoral work is nothing but a round of visits among the gentile ladies of the church, engaging in small talk, slurping endless cups of tea and eating enough fairy cakes to sink a battleship.
Pastoral work means involvement in the lives of your people. To this end there are no set working hours and it can be at the same time the most rewarding and most demanding of tasks. Lets look at some pointers to Pastoral Care:
- Shepherding = Pastoral Care. It is the complementary function of the teacher and can is intertwined. Sometimes we will hear someone say that their leader is a better teacher than a pastor or vice versa, such is the interchangability. But sometimes the role of pastor can be neglected for several reasons. A) Teaching responsibilities can be easily defined. B) There can be more of a sense of achievement with accomplishing teaching objectives. With pastoral work the limits are more difficult to define, there always seems to be more people who need a visit and one weeks demands are never the same the next week. But pastorally it is here where the teachings from the pulpit can be effectively taught on a one to one personal basis.
- The object for our pastoral work has to be what we have discussed before, feeding, proclaiming and presenting the flock as mature before God. Therefore quality is more important than quantity. It is important to know that your visits have had the effect of changing the lives of those you visit, rather than rushing to many visits in a week and subjecting your flock to superficial pastoral care.
- All of us need pastoral care; there can be no exceptions to the rule. It is possible to care so much for the flock that we forget that we need care too. The question needs to be asked, “Who is the undershepherds shepherd?” The first answer is that the chief shepherd, Jesus Himself is our Shepherd. But He will raise up other undershepherds to fulfil this task. In large denominations we usually see that the organization provide pastoral care for its leaders. However in smaller denominations or independent churches care is sometimes neglected. Derek Prime has a very good suggestion for leaders who feel uncared for. Speaking of home-cells he says that he and his family have placed themselves under the care of a home-cell leader where they receive prayer, love and nurture.
- There are several basic principles that are necessary to pastoral care. A) Although we are called to shepherd all of Gods people, as a general rule of counselling a man must counsel a man and a woman must counsel a woman. Many a leader has fallen through the neglect of this practical principle. Obviously this cannot be a hard fat rule and so if you have to counsel a member of the opposite sex, make sure there is someone in the background or your spouse is present. B) Specific attention must be made to the remembering of people’s names and circumstances. C) Love for the Lord and His people is the pre-eminent motive for pastoral work and we must endeavour to love the flock with the same love as we give the Lord Himself. D) One of the most practical expressions of our love is the generosity of our time. Stewardship of time is a constant battle. It is important, especially on a Sunday to not let the same people monopolise our time but to use this to say hello to the shy people or those on the church fringe. Make sure that each week there are specific times where you are available to see people.
- There are four key words in Pastoral care 1) 2) Exhortation. 3) Admonition. 4) Counsel.
- Recognise your own limitations. Everyone of us is out of our depth in pastoral work. Any confidence we have must not come from our skills, training or experience, but in Gods ability to use frail instruments filled with the Holy Ghost. That is why all pastoral work must be linked with prayer. Without His grace that enables, the four areas of pastoral work will be impossible to achieve.
- Who is our confidence? Read Philippians 1:6. Our confidence comes from the fact that it is God who begins and finishes a good work in people’s lives. Our confidence that people will react and respond to His word must never come from ourselves but through God working through them. Read 2Thessalonians 3:4
Ø PASTORAL PRACTICALITIES
I would like to share some of the practicalities within leadership which you can build upon as you develop your ministry in your own style.
- Home Visits. There is a story of a pastor who hardly visited his congregation. He heard one of his elders was ill and on the spur of the moment while in the area he thought he would drop by. On seeing the pastor the elder jumped back in surprise and said, “I’m not that ill am I”. Our people must never be surprised by a visit. A pastoral visit is never a social visit, it may have social implications but you can be assured that church life will always surface after a short time. How you handle these are very important, especially if there is criticism of another church member. When to visit is always an issue and will vary according to the age and family setting of the individuals concerned. How long we visit is also very important, if you have just dropped in for a chat on the spur of the moment keep the visit brief. For a regular visit 30-45 minutes at most.
- Evangelistic visits. Maybe new visitors to your church or area have arrived; you’re not sure where they stand on many issues. This is a good opportunity to get to know prospective new members and the unsaved fringe for the purpose of leading to salvation
- Hospital visits. These are a priority because never will a shepherd get closer to a person than at their time of real need. Here we can bring love and assurance. Never enter a word without the permission of the sister in charge. Hospitals give leaders special privileges in visiting but it is good to remember that at this time they are under their care.
- The organisation of Pastoral work. Although pastoral work needs organisation the best is usually spontaneous. But in organising we must establish priorities. It is good to prioritise as follows. 1) Top of the list needs to be those who are newly converted. Its great to see people saved but nurture is extremely important. 2) Those who are unwell or extremely troubled. 3) Christians with new experiences, for example those getting engaged, married, having children must have a place in our priorities. 4) These urgent things must not push out the non urgent. If we fill our time with crisis we will become tired or depressed.
- Create a personal program that meets your personal obligations with the size and character of the church fellowship. If the church is large than the full time leader or leaders may be swamped with visits. This is where pastoral delegation must be developed very carefully.
- How then can we develop responsibilities for pastoral care? Derek Prime has some useful suggestions for a multi staff situation. A) The systematic delegation of visits to the housebound was given to the elders who reported back any visits they felt the pastors should undertake. B) The youth Pastor or equivalent had a remit to visit the younger people I the fellowship, again with areas of concern given to the Pastor for follow up. C) General care and visitation was given to elders and home-cell leaders who divided the city into areas of responsibility, again with concerns fed back to the Pastors. This enabled the Pastors to deal with shepherding the leaders, their own visiting regime and answering emergencies.
Ø LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES
Much has changed in the church over the years but the strategic necessity for leadership has not. The Church of Jesus Christ does not progress beyond the Spiritual progress of its leaders.
Every team needs a captain, every orchestra a conductor, without them they lose cohesion and harmony. During the three years Jesus led His disciples He was their leader. When He ascended Peter was the obvious choice and the Apostles themselves appointed leaders in the churches.
Leadership, like any other spiritual gift is for the benefit of the body of Christ. Leadership in the church should also be shared. This is the biblical pattern, which is why the Apostles appointed a plurality of Elders rather than a solitary Elder.
Christian leadership models itself upon that of Christ Jesus. In the next session by Jacob Prasch we see the way Jesus led His people in the manner of Psalm 23. Yet one of the paradoxes of His ministry was that while He was the leader He was also he servant, something He demonstrated practically a number of times.
Here are some thoughts on the practicalities of leadership:
- The practice of Leadership. Like all gifts, leadership skills need developing. They grow by exercise and also our willingness to learn from the examples from scripture and from others, and of course from the mistakes of others. We often lead unconsciously; our attitudes rub off on other people. We are people who often have to make decisions, we cannot avoid it and so it is important that our yes is yes and our no is no, never be a leader who can say yes and no at the same time, we leave this to the realm of politics. We lead by our drive and enthusiasm. This doesn’t mean we put on a veneer of enthusiasm, which isn’t genuine, this lasts about five minutes. It means that when God has spoken and we are convicted, we express our inner being, which will also bring others along with us. We lead with our willingness to accept responsibility. We with our ability to convey a vision. We lead by knowing what has to be done. We lead by our exercise of faith. We lead by keeping our head at all times. We lead by recognising that there are occasions when we must positively exert ourselves to lead.
- The relation of other leaders to each other is very important. As we have seen, leadership is plural; we depart from it with terrible consequences. A principal reason for shared leadership is that it keeps us under the discipline of others. If Gods people are required to be under discipline so must we. We must get to know our fellow leaders well on both a spiritual and personal level. We must pray together regularly and often. We must develop an atmosphere where we can share our hearts and concerns in a confidential and non threatening manner. As a general rule it is good to share as much as we can with our fellow leaders f the knowledge we have of the church and its members with the only restriction that of breaking confidences.
The leadership’s spiritual unity is directly linked to the spiritual unity of the flock; it is always our task to lead people away from contention and to point them in the direction of unity. If we cannot do this within the leadership team there is little hope for the flock.
This is an essential aspect of spiritual leadership and demands consideration. Leadership can be described as the ability to raise up other leaders. This can only happen under the sphere of delegation.
The term overseer means that there are certain tasks that we are to supervise and one of the qualifications of an Elder from 1Timothy chapter three is that an Elder must be able to teach. Derek Prime describes it thus:
“Delegation is part of the public recognition that the ministry is that of the whole church”
There is an Old lesson which speaks of the necessity of delegation, it can be found in Exodus 18:13-26. Read.
It is obvious that refusal to delegate can bring terrible consequences to the leader. Burnout, lack of new vision are all lost with the inability to cope. It is a condemnation to a leader if all collapses if he isn’t there. But there are many reasons for not delegating:
- A reluctance to delegate. A leader may fear that a task may not be done as well as they can do it. They may feel possessive about a task. They may feel that they may become unpopular. Whatever the reason they are all unworthy of the call to develop others into our ministry. Pastor John Coomb from Scotland once said to me, “The leaders task is to ultimately make himself unemployed.”
- There are benefits to delegation. A) It easies the burden of responsibility. B) It guarantees a succession of new leaders and new gifts.
Who though should delegate? Again Derek Prime speaks wisdom:
“Delegation of responsibility among the spiritual leadership of a church must always be done corporately by that leadership and not simply by the initiative of an individual leader.”
- Principles of successful delegation need also be employed. But first of all we are not just shifting responsibility off ourselves for the sake of it. It must have the benefit of allowing us to do something more profitable. The choosing of the seven deacons is a perfect example. It allowed the Apostles to get on with their primary task. (Acts 6:1-7) The primary principle of delegation is to test potential and although delegation is a difficult thing for some, we can impoverish ourselves and ultimately the body of Christ if we fail to do it.
The call to leadership is a noble thing; those involved will experience things few people ever do. There is no greater joy than leading under the guidance of the great Shepherd Himself and to be able to witness the growth and nurture of His precious flock.
Stott J, The contemporary Christian (IVP1995)
Young, Young’s analytical concordance (Hendrikson)
ZODHIATES, Lexical aids to the New Testament (AMG Publishers 1991)
Vine, Vines complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words (Nelson)
Spurgeon CH, An All Round Ministry (Banner of Truth )
Prime D, Pastors and Teachers (Highland Books 1989)
Torrey RA, What the Bible Teaches (Whitaker House 1996)
Sugden & Wiersbe, Confident Pastoral Leadership (Baker House 1993)
 Prime D, Pastors and Teachers (Highland Books 1989) p33
 Ibid p34-35
 Ibid p101
 Ibid p124
 Ibid p205
 Ibid p218