How many pastors do you know? If you know me, at least one. When we think of the term pastor, we usually draw mental images of middle aged men in suites, with slick combed over hair, pounding their fist on a pulpit, and spitting out “thee” and “thou” in biblical references. That had been my experience growing up. When we consider the role of a pastor is seems we define that as a man that has charge over a local assembly of believers called a church, where his main responsibilites lie in preaching and leading. This is an accurate portrayal. I’ve been doing it for 15 years. But, there’s something interesting taking place that is only starting to happen right now, and it has technology to blame. Pastoring is going instant global. Let me explain.
Although my beforehand description of the role of a pastor stands true for local churches, the broader role of a pastor is shaped into the image of a shepherd; exemplified by the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Shepherding has a broader role in caring for people. In the sense of shepherding, I’ve been a pastor nearly all of my life. Even as a child, I was the spiritual leader of my family. I came to follow Christ at an early age, and the Spirit of the Lord was strong within me, even as a child. I would lead and teach my family, including my parents. My friends were recipients of my spiritual caretaking as well, and many were saved and baptized through my direct guidance in expression of the Gospel. Why? Because to shepherd is to do 3 things.
I lead with spiritual authority. This isn’t assumed authority, but received authority. I have no authority of any person to lead until they give it to me and entrust me with it. Once that relationship is established, I have the responsibility to speak truth into their lives in accordance with Scripture to guide them into God’s will.
With 15 years of experience pastoring, more than 30 years studying, and a seminary degree, I find great joy in expounding upon the teachings that are formed by 66 canonical books called the Bible.
A shepherd also looks after the welfare of his sheep. He leads to safe pastures, feeds the Word of God, but also, tends to the needs…the hurts, the injuries, the doubts and fears, the spiritual AND physical needs.
But here’s what’s so cool, as I mentioned. Becuase of technology, I am finding myself becoming a shepherd to people all over the world. Through email, text, Skype, and phone, I’m fulfilling the role of a spiritual guide to people who are seeking it. It starts with my blog, or webpage, or podcast. Somehow people find me. They learn me. They eventually trust me, and seek me out. It becomes a providential relationship that God uses in order to provide the 3 main facets of being a shepherd to His people. I’m now leading people from as far as the Pacific Northwest, all the way down to southern Florida. Literally the span of the continental U.S. I believe this is going to continue to trend, and we will see the connectivity of shepherd and sheep grow even stronger. I pray for each and every one of my clients and sincerley care about their lives and hearts. My services are not merely information or product based, but service oriented.
If you feel like you need a pastor, and not sure where to turn, or feel ready to venture into a community of strangers, don’t let that stop you. Fit For the Kingdom is like nothing you’ve ever encountered before. You have a pastor. You have a persoanl trainer. You have a nutritionist. You have a friend. You have a shepherd.