Servant and Steward Studies in 1 Corinthians Series  1 Corinthians 4:1-7 August 10, 2014 Pastor Paul K. Kim
Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise. Sam Pascoe
CULTURAL CHANGES AND REDEFINITIONS OF THE PASTOR Pastor as Hired Gun: regarded to be an expert who has skills and energy brought in by stakeholders to get things done... Pastor as CEO (or shop owner): regarded to be a visionary entrepreneurial leader. Pastor as Activist: regarded to be a community leader who raises awareness and rallies people to take action for a cause. Pastor as Celebrity: regarded to be a charismatic leader/communicator who is sought after by many.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICALLY AUTHENTIC MODEL OF THE PASTOR [FT & LAY]? 1)Pastors are the SERVANTS of Christ—hence, don’t put them on a pedestal nor abuse them. 1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ... (v. 1a) First and foremost, they are lowly servants [Gk. huperetes = “under-rower”]—subordinate to Christ who directs them. But they are the servants NOT of men but of Christ whom they seek to please, which means they are not “hired guns.”
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
WHAT IS THE BIBLICALLY AUTHENTIC MODEL OF THE PASTOR [FT & LAY]? 1)Pastors are the SERVANTS of Christ—hence, don’t put them on a pedestal nor abuse them. 1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ... (v. 1a) First and foremost, they are lowly servants [Gk. huperetes = “under-rower”]—subordinate to Christ who directs them. But they are the servants NOT of men but of Christ whom they seek to please, which means they are not “hired guns.” Two implications are (1) we must not put them on a pedestal in fanfare (2) nor mistreat them as if they are our servants.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICALLY AUTHENTIC MODEL OF THE PASTOR [FT & LAY]? 2)Pastors are the STEWARDS of God’s Word—hence, seek to be guided by their faithfulness in Scripture. 1...and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. (vs. 1b-2) The primary duty of a pastor/spiritual leader in a Christian community is this stewardship of God’s Word, Scripture. If so, pastors are (1) essentially teachers, (2) must teach/lead in Scripture, & (3) required of faithfulness to Scripture. Nothing else is more important to a pastor’s role than being faithful to God’s Word—teaching and upholding Scripture.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICALLY AUTHENTIC MODEL OF THE PASTOR [FT & LAY]? 3)Pastors are accountable to Christ—hence, leave your judgment to the Lord. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. (vs. 3-5) If pastors are Christ’s servants not ours, we must look to Christ’s judgment as final evaluation of their motives/fruits. However, we are to judge/discern their teaching and action. As for pastors, the operating principle must be to fear the LORD in ministry and to focus only on God’s commendation.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICALLY AUTHENTIC MODEL OF THE PASTOR [FT & LAY]? 4)Pastors are given to you by Christ—hence, don’t boast in favor of one pastor/leader against another. 6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? (vs. 6-7) Paul had already applied these principles to Apollos and himself—nothing they have wasn’t theirs but given by God. In the same way, we are to stay humble in all of our gifts. Furthermore, we are NOT to boast in following one pastor/leader against another because of the same reason.
Am I Ignitable in Serving Christ? He makes His ministers a flame of fire. Am I ignitable? God, deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things.’ Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame. But flame is transient, often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul— short life? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short- Lived, whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him. And He has promised the baptism with the Spirit and with Fire. Make me Thy fuel, 'Flame of God’... God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus. — Jim Elliot
THREE PRACTICAL QUESTIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE 1.In what ways do you see the need for keeping this biblical model of the pastor/leader in our church? 2.What will you do to actively support these biblical roles of the pastor—servant and steward—in building a healthy church? 3.How will you apply this biblical model in your own spiritual leadership in ministry and at home? What would be your starting point?