Friday, May 04, 2012

Pastoral Symbols

I've begun to realize that I like the use of visual symbols in teaching.  A lot.  It seems to me that whenever you can employ more than just one sense (usually hearing) you have a better shot of people remembering, of people learning.

So this coming Sunday we'll be making use of a number of different symbols in reference to what leadership, particularly pastoral leadership, implies biblically.

1. Feeding.  A pastor or an elder has the responsibility of continually providing the flock with spiritual food, both milk and meat, depending on the stages of growth and areas of need of the congregation.  So we'll be presenting a cutting board for bread, with a phrase "The bread of life" engraved in the wood.

2. Protecting and Guiding.  Our friends from PA are bringing down two staffs or canes, that will be used to represent this important area of pastoral responsibility.  "Your rod and your staff, they comfort me."  Guarding against false doctrine and divisive people is essential for a healthy church.

3. Our authoritative guide, the Bible.  Each man will be receiving a leather-bound study Bible, and a reminder that the source of our teaching is the Word of God, taught through a Spirit-led individual.

4. Welcome to Our Home.  The wives will be presented with a special plaque that gives a greeting, reminding them and us of the importance of hospitality, counseling, listening and care.

The picture below is beautiful...a shot of a flock of sheep in the foreground, with the sprawling neighborhood of San Buenaventura, here in Ixtapaluca, in the background.  The harvest, truly, is plentiful, and the laborers are often scarce.  We thank the Lord that He is raising up men and women who are willing to take seriously the task before us.

Quote of the Day:  I have heard pastors say that what we do on Sunday mornings is the most important thing we do all week. Such platitudes sound religious and inspiring, but I do not believe they are true. I think God is far more concerned with how you treat your family, your neighbors, and the strangers on the street than how well dressed, timely, and inspired you are on Sunday morning at church services. Just the fact that we can get away with convincing people that Sunday services are the most important thing we do all week is testimony to how far removed we are from the Scriptures. The devil has succeeded in deluding us and removing us from truth. We leaders are taking people down a path that is not the truth with all of the conviction of our belief in the Bible and none of the truth in it.

Neil Cole. Organic Leadership: Leading Naturally Right Where You Are (p. 64).

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