This might surprise you, but I don’t have a “job”. I say that because a “job” suggests I get paid to do something. I think it’s important that we don’t see the Christian ministry as a “job”, but as an “office”. An office is a position of trust, in which someone else’s authority is to be exercised. The risen Lord Jesus has entrusted the task of ministry to certain people, called “elders” (1 Peter 5:1), “overseers” (1 Tim 3:1), and “ministers” (2 Cor 3:6). So, I don’t get paid a “salary” by an employer, but a “stipend” that helps me carry out the office Christ has entrusted to me.
My main task is to: “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you” (1 Peter 5:2).
Now, the apostle Paul tells us how he did that in the church in Ephesus; he shepherded them both publicly and from house to house (Acts 20:20). It’s obvious how we do that on Sundays through teaching, but how about from “house to house”? In the past, one of the ways ministers have sought to do this is through pastoral visits. A pastoral visit is what it sounds like – the minister comes and visits you in your house. Now that might not be something you’re very used to today; the idea of your minister coming to visit you might feel like you’re in trouble! But that’s not the intention at all. Rather, it’s a way for the minister to get to know his flock, and to see how he can help, encourage and pray for them.
I’m hoping to start doing this a bit more regularly on Thursday nights (and maybe Tuesdays). So, don’t be surprised if I mention I’m planning to call by on a Thursday. If you have a question about something I’ve preached on, try and remember it and ask me about it when I visit. Please don’t think I’m too busy to bother with your questions. I’d love for you to ask me for help from the Bible if you’re trying to make decisions, or share things I can be praying for you; remember, my calling as a minister is to speak the Bible into the details of your life.