In the Old Testament, the Priests were set apart from the nation of Israel. They weren’t allowed to own property, and they lived off of the sacrifices and offerings brought into the temple. Their primary role was to minister to the Lord and show the people how to worship God. Sadly, the standard for priests starting slipping with Eli’s sons, and by the time of the prophet Ezekiel they had slid into only caring for themselves. Ezekiel issues a warning, “Feed the sheep.”
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?”
Consumed by Their Stomachs
The role of a priest or pastor has long been referred to as a shepherd. The prophet Ezekiel is told by God to prophesy against the priests who have neglected their flock. They were more consumed with themselves and their stomachs than the spiritual needs of their spiritually starving country. Because of this, many Israelites have strayed from following God and chased after idols that offer no hope.
The burden and responsibility of pastors today are immense. That is why Paul said it is a worthy calling, and you should think twice before going into ministry. God holds the standard high for those who minister to others because their influence is significant. If the pastor is more interested in his image or wallet, the people in his congregation will suffer. Ministry is a life of sacrifice and dependence upon God.
Feed the Sheep
If you are a pastor, your primary responsibility is to feed the sheep. This is what Jesus told Peter during his restoration. “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.” If you are in a church where the pastor isn’t preaching the Bible and wants the church to care more for him than he cares for you, it’s time for some changes to happen. Start by praying for him that God will convict his heart. Then speak to him and show him scripture. Finally, if he doesn’t respond, then go and find a church where the Bible is taught, and the Holy Spirit is allowed to move.