What are the problems, pressures, and needs of those who pastor the people of God? How can the fellowship of believers encourage and minister to these key members of the church family? The aim of this book is to provide some answers for these questions.
Christians care about their ministers, elders, shepherds, priests, and pastors - whatever the title may be for it is they who bear the burden of leadership. These pastors are the Moses', the Joshuas', the Davids', and the Timothys', the men God has called to speak his Word, bring guidance to the faithful, comfort the bereaved and afflicted, work with the rebellious, and encourage the hopeless. What, though, can the saints do to hold up the arms of those whom God has placed over them in spiritual authority?
First, the leaders can be appreciated for who they are. Ministers are often seen as superstars, perfected saints, dictators, deluded persons, eccentrics, holier-than-thou types, and stuffed shirts. Such caricatures are usually errant and never helpful. Second, the problems peculiar to church ministry can be understood in relation to the minister. The real life of the pastor is often hidden, either intentionally or unintentionally, from the congregation. And third, believers can come to a fuller understanding of their relationship to God's appointed authorities in the body.
The shepherd is a sheep too, but has been made a shepherd of sheep; nevertheless, he is still one of the sheep.There will never be a perfect pastor. And there will not need to be as long as we know there cannot be. Jesus, who is himself the Head of the Body, is the only perfect one. Our Minister is perfect, wholly trustworthy and faithful, the King who will never fall off the throne.
Kent Philpott lives in California where he has been the pastor of Miller Avenue Church, Mill Valley since 1985. Ordained in 1966, he was awarded the degrees of Masters of Divinity by Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley and Doctor of Ministry by San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is a regular visitor to the prisoners of San Quentin Prison and a coach of the San Quentin Pirates baseball team.