Biblical scholar describes the traits of a faithful pastor
Riverside, Calif. (April 5, 2018) – Being a pastor means more than just proclaiming the Bible, Dr. Ray Van Neste told a California Baptist University audience on April 5. It also includes tending to, caring for and protecting the congregation, he said.
Van Neste presented “A Portrait of a Faithful Pastor” as part of CBU’s School of Christian Ministries Lecture Series.
“Pastors who are here today, you have been called to be the guardian of souls,” Van Neste said. “Young men who are called to pastor, that is what you’re training to do.”
Van Neste is a professor of biblical studies at Union University and a director at the university’s R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies. He has also published numerous books and scholarly essays on topics such as biblical studies, pastoral ministry and church history.
“God, at the price of his own blood, has purchased people from every nation, tribe and tongue. Then when He sets you up to pastor a people, He has taken a portion of that group and entrusted them to your care and said to you, ‘Bring them home safely,’” Van Neste said.
To do this task properly, pastors must give themselves fully to God, to the Bible and to His people, Van Neste declared.
Van Neste, expounding on II Timothy 2:14-26, addressed the pitfalls pastors will need to avoid in their ministry.
“The tricky thing is, pleasing God is very often at odds with pleasing people,” Van Neste said. “We’re made to desire the love of other people and part of what sin is, is the twisting of what is right. So we crave the praise of man and that will lead you down a dead-end road.”
Pastors need to remember that the Bible is powerful and it requires work and effort to understand it, Van Neste said. Pastors also need to be kind to all people and be patient when wronged, he added.
“We must love the people of God,” Van Neste said. “Love for your people will guard your heart from arrogance. Love will compel you to watch over their souls and not be content with simply filling the pulpit. Love will cause you to labor hard and impart not only a message but your life. Love will cause you to speak the word boldly to them.”