Throughout the New Testament, no writer provides more insight into proper pastoring than Paul. Many times he compares the pastorate with being a spiritual parent of spiritual children who keeps a watchful eye on both their spiritual growth and protection from erroneous influences/teachings.
In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul states the following:
“I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.”
In essence, Paul states that, by the power of the Spirit, he would be able to discern the words of those puffed up. As their spiritual parent, Paul knew that this power was the only way the Corinthian church could withstand the Greek philosophers and satanic forces at work within the city, as well as the puffed up teachings of some fellow believers.
Today, numerous pastors tend to puff themselves up with titles and degrees, as well as the accolades of pacified parishioners, and forsake the diligent pursuit of Holy Spirit power. With the ever increasing onslaught of selfish error within the church today, pastors must heed the words of Paul and renew a focus on “the kingdom of God…in power.”
- 1 Corinthians 4:14-20, NKJV.
- Ibid., v. 20.