I said this at the quarterly business meeting at King’s Grant Baptist Church in June 2022, just one month after the departure of Dr. Ken Pruitt.
Over the past several months, and even several years, I’ve regretted that many of my colleagues have decided to end their ministerial careers, apparently feeling it’s no longer worth it to be in the ministry, to be a pastor.
Today, I want to take a look at some words of encouragement from the Scripture regarding pastoral ministry, and ask if THIS is who we are. Is this something we can say about our pastor. Even though he is no longer with us to hear it, is this something we would like for him to have said before he left?
I wrote some things out with some Scripture offering some words of affirmation.
1) We affirm that the Lord has designed and organized a local church to be led, guided, and shepherded by Spirit-filled, God-called, and Christ-following pastors. That statement certainly describes Ken Pruitt.
2) We are firm that King’s Grant Baptist Church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ and not the members who make up the congregation. Jesus is the head of the church and we are his body.
3) We affirm that our pastor has been called by God to serve and lead this local body of Christ and we agreed to that in a special called business meeting in April 2017, by unanimous approval.
Here are some verses to describe a local pastor.
Second Timothy 4:2-5
I solemnly exhort you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But as for you, use self-restraint in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
The shepherd’s responsibility is described in Ezekiel 34 and Zachariah 11, there are seven types of sheep for whom the shepherd is responsible. He is called to…
- Strengthen the weak
- Heal the sick
- Bind up the broken
- Bring back the scattered
- Seek the lost
- Seek the young and
- Feed the standing
First Peter 5:1–4
Therefore, I urge elders among you, as your fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and one who is also a fellow partaker of the glory that is to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not with greed but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as domineering over those assigned to your care, but by proving to be examples to the flock.
Through Him then, let’s continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips praising His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them—for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account—so that they may do this with joy, not groaning; for this would be unhelpful for you.
4) We affirm that the role of Pastor is to be held in honor and respect and the pastor must be given the respect for a person in such a position of overseer and shepherd of our souls.
5) We have firm that our pastor is called to lead us toward greater commitment to and involvement in the great commission of the great commandment. That is our mission and our methods must change to reach the current community and culture around us.
6) We affirm the importance of Christian unity and reject any attempt toward division and disunity, as it says, in first Corinthians 1:10 – Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.
I regret that I didn’t get a chance to say all this to my pastor before he left. Perhaps this is something that you would like to say to him as well.
That’s why I brought this up during the pastor’s time of encouragement at the beginning of this meeting. I wanted to affirm what Ken did here and what he tried to do here, and I wanted to publicly appreciate him.