Ellen G. White Writings

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Pastoral Ministry, Page 281

Chapter 52—Jesus as Model Pastor

Compilers’ note: Jesus never pastored a church congregation such as we have today. But, like today's pastors, He did preach and teach, and minister both to large groups and to individuals. It is helpful to pastors of small churches to realize that the closest He came to pastoring a specific congregation was his ongoing ministry to a tiny group of twelve. It should be encouraging to pastors who sometimes feel their failure, to realize that even Jesus could not keep one of those twelve from apostasy. In the Ellen White quotations below, it is noteworthy how often Jesus is called the Chief Shepherd, and ministers to His under-shepherds. He is the minister's model.

Christ, the chief Shepherd, provides the perfect model for His undershepherds—Christ is the Chief Shepherd. He has intrusted the care of His flock to under shepherds. He requires these shepherds to have the same interest for His sheep which He has ever manifested, and to ever feel the responsibility of the charge He has intrusted to them. Ministers, who are called of God to labor in word and doctrine, are Christ's shepherds. He has appointed them under Himself to oversee and tend His flock. He has solemnly commanded these to be faithful shepherds, to feed the flock with diligence, to follow His example, to strengthen the weak, nourish the fainting, and to shield them from devouring beasts. He points them to His example of love for His sheep. To secure their deliverance, He laid down His life for them. If they imitate His self-denying example, the flock will prosper under their care.—Spiritual Gifts 3:123.

Not one minister in twenty knows the real essence of Christ's ministry—Divine knowledge may become human knowledge. Every minister should study closely the manner of Christ's teaching. They must take in His lessons. There is not one in twenty who knows the beauty, the real essence, of Christ's ministry. They are to find it out. Then they will become partakers of the rich fruit of his teachings. They will weave them so fully into their own life and practice, that the ideas and principles that Christ brought into His lessons will be brought into their teaching. The truth will blossom and bear the noblest kind of fruit. And the worker's own heart will be warmed;

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