Take Heed To Feed The Flock
By Frank Hilton • ©Word-Spirit • All Rights Reserved.

INTRODUCTION

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)

As we enter into the most crucial hours of the end times, it is evident that the leadership of the church awake to it's responsibilities of leading and feeding the church of God. The days of sermons needs to come to an end. We need to hear anointed power-preaching and teaching that changes lives!

There are many good anointed preachers in our midst, but sad to say, there are also preachers that do not have the interest of their flock as top priority. Finely put together sermons may require much study, but, there is a big difference between a "burden for sermons" (always looking for the next sermon) and a "burden for humanity." Preaching without a burden for the people often leaves to dry services that leave people unchanged.

This small study cannot fully explain everything that needs to be addressed, but with God's help men that are called to preach will understand the soberness and gravity that this subject entails.

THE RESPONSIBILTY OF A PREACHER
Preaching is not a job or vocation! Preaching is not a way to make a living! Preaching is not a position to allow one to have power over others! On the contrary, a man that is called to preach is given a very sober, heavy responsibility to preach to men regardless of popularity or riches.

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (1 Pet 5:2-3)

Being called of God is a privilege. A man is not worthy to be a preacher on his own, it is God's gift to mankind. When a man receives a call, he arrives at a crossroad of decision. In his mind he will have to decide "why" he wants to do God's will. Below are three of them. Also read Called Into The Ministry

  • He can choose to do God's work "willingly" (cheerfully) and be totally obedient to what Jesus Christ wants.
  • He can choose to do it with "constraint." In other words he does it because he has to. This is unprofitable.
  • He chooses to do it because it will make him money (filthy lucre). This can incorporate other reasons (wrong motives) as well.

Being a preacher or pastor is being the mouth piece, healing hands, compassionate heart and servant to His people. He is not his own and cannot do God's work with his own ideas. There is no room for self-willed preachers, they are destructive!

When overseeing a flock (the church) one must understand that he is to be like the Chief shepherd, Jesus Christ. His ministry must be patterned after the Lord's. Jesus was a gentle, but yet an anointed, authoritative and submissive shepherd. A preacher that is not submissive to the leading of God's spirit is of no use to the advancement of God's kingdom.

OBEDIENCE IS REQUIRED
I have been in this long enough to know the difference between anointed, obedient preachers and those who are not. The reasons vary for each, but there is one unmistakable attitude among anointed men of God... submission to the will of God and they get results!!

And then there are those who feed their own ambitions and are not obedient to God! God only anoints obedient servants. It doesn't matter if it is saint or preacher... no obedience, means no anointing!

I heard someone ask this question... "How come other churches have revival (harvest) and others don't?" There are many reasons to why, but let’s look at some possible causes.

  • The timing of God is the most important. God will try to get men and women in position to receive from God, but revival is a result of obedience to what God wants to do to bring it about. If disobedience is there, God will not bless!
  • Pastors are not obeying God! This is very true when a preacher is self-willed and tries to bring revival in his own power. He does it his way and not God's way.
  • Saints of God are not fed and brought into a spiritual realm where revival can happen. Carnal saints will drag a church down. And carnal saints may be the result of a neglectful leadership.

Obedience is the number one requirement for revival! If the leadership is not going where God goes, then how can the saints get there? The saints cannot rise above the spiritual plateau of the leadership if he isn't there himself. It is all about divine order and submission.

THE PREACHERS ROLE
In the above scripture (1 Pet 5:2-3) it reads "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock."

The whole duty of a preacher is to be an example to the flock. He is to live and be what he preaches. The preacher has the most dangerous position in the church, because one major mistake can clean his congregation out!

Preachers are admonished to feed and lead the church, not demand and push the church. The church does not need aggressive, demanding and domineering preachers. The preacher is not supposed to be a "lord" over God's heritage.

So, what does this mean?

The pastor is the top authority of the congregation, and saints must be obedient to his leadership. But, that doesn't give a pastor the right to be "lord" over God's saints! Meaning that he cannot get the attitude of a dictator, demanding total obedience to everything he says whether right or wrong. A pastor that is always demanding obedience from his saints knows that he doesn't have the authority over them. He feels the saints rejecting him and thus fuels a more dictating spirit to have complete control, when God is the one that should be in control.

When a pastor "feeds and leads" his flock to green pastures, and does it with love. Saints of God will automatically obey and follow his leading. He will not have to say "you need to obey me" all the time. Jesus never demanded followers to follow; He invited them and met their needs. That's why he had the crowds He did! He loved the people he had!

Paul said something concerning love... "If I give my body to be burned and have not love, it profiteth me nothing" Wanting to pastor a church for any other reason except to love the people God has given them, is unprofitable! The motive you pastor with will come to the surface sooner or later. You may want revival, but why do you want it? To be known of men? The numbers? More money?

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

The true sign of a loving anointed pastor is his willingness to lay down his life for the well being of his congregation. He loves and leads them to a wholesome walk with God. He's patient and obedient to what God wants to do with the flock. Then through his love, he has the authority to direct, teach, incorprate standards, delegate the flock and they will listen!

SPIRITUAL ABUSE
In Ezekiel 34:1-21 (please read), is one of the saddest prophecies against a pastor that can ever be given to him. "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" Why is this so sad?

Because the people of God are not fed and become prey to the devil. The sheep become diseased and sick and therefore cannot produce healthy new sheep!

I do not have my head in the sand! I believe there are great men of God among us, I wish not to be critical here, but sometimes preachers do get out of line.

A preacher MUST totally depend on God for a revival. He must love winning the lost because that is the heartbeat of God. But, a pastor must be careful to not switch his trust from God to other avenues to get revival. When this happens he becomes frustrated and impatient. This will lead to bad attitudes and eventually "spiritual abuse" of the sheep. The pastor then begins to look to the sheep for revival and not God. This is very dangerous!

Spiritual abuse has got to be the worst of all abuses. The reason being is that it is not a physical thing, but emotional and mental. This kind of treatment towards the sheep will cause them to withdraw and not reproduce. Thus barren altars, no soul winning, no anointing and last of all, dead church services!

FOR THE PREACHER... The very precious saints sitting on the pews are not your enemies! They are a product of your spirituality! You made them what they are! If they are resisting you it is because you are resisting God!

THE PREACHERS THINKING
Every preacher who is truly called of God has a burden to win the lost. That burden should never die! He must continually guard against hardness and bitterness because saints do not always respond to his preaching.

It is not the responsibility of a preacher to which way a saint "responds" to the gospel. He is to just preach it with love. If he becomes wounded because of the rejection of his preaching, he then must go to God for healing. If he tries to hide the wound it will become a source of aggravation. Thus he will lash out at the congregation because he is not getting what he wants. A wounded preacher will destroy the very thing he is trying to build!

A preacher feels because God gave him authority over the flock that he is always right. But just because a preacher has the rule doesn't mean he can't be warned or corrected by others. The biggest mindset of a preacher that will destroy him is pride! Thinking he knows how to get the job done! Thinking he cannot be warned.

However, preachers do make mistakes and should be shown forgiveness and compassion by the church. Preachers often get way more trashing then they deserve... They are human after all!

There should be called intercessors in a church that constantly pray for a preacher and the church. They will hold off devils that attack him. Often time’s intercessors or prophets can foresee where the church is to go. They can sometimes see the devils that will come against a church or pastor.

If one of these "watchmen" tells a preacher what they have picked up and the preacher rises up in pride and rejects the message, then he will cut off the anointing of God in his life. If he does this to many times he will bring his church into a captive state of dead services.

REDEMPTION FOR A PREACHER
I know this article has seemed very heavy, which it is! But, there is compassion and hope for the preacher that really wants to have a revival church! It isn't easy for a preacher to admit that he may be the cause of his dry, dead church. He has to come to realize that he has been trying to bring about revival in his own strength! He has used God's people to try to fulfill something only God can fulfill or give to him. He has to realize that the very thing he needs for revival is sitting on his pews... those delicate, timid, frail and problematic sheep.

If a pastor wants revival he must do the following things...

  • He must be humble and obedient to how God wants to lead and feed the church into revival.
  • He must be gentle, loving and kind to the flock.
  • He must feed and lead the sheep by example.
  • He must not agitate and condemn the congregation with wrong attitudes.
  • He must not try and make the saints feel guilty to get what he wants.
  • He must get off constantly pushing the "revival kick."
  • He must meet the needs of the saints so they can reproduce more "healthy" sheep.
  • He must take instruction from others.
  • He must have a good report before God and men.
  • He must be anointed by God to be able to conquer devils.

There are more things I could say that are "required," but suffice to say that obedience to the Holy Ghost is really the only requirement that will produce Holy Ghost revival. Other things will follow behind automatically.

CONCLUSION
Often times the church (including saints of God) are guilty of trying to bring revival about using their own methods, programs and attitudes of persuasion. But they will always fall short when they are not done God's way.

The leadership of the church has the sole responsibility for teaching and guiding saints of God to be soul winners. But preachers and pastors are neglecting to see that the saints cannot be effective if they have unmet needs or do not see by example, what is being said behind the pulpits. Pretty, precise sermons just don't cut it anymore. Shallow sermons that only scratch the surface are not meeting the deep thirst of the soul.

Preachers that preach without anointing and do not display the power of God, cannot expect the saints to do what the preacher is not doing. Preachers that abuse and condemn saints with bad attitudes will reap a negative, dry and cold church. Barren altars will be the norm.

It is high time that leadership understand that if you are obedient to God and feed the souls of the saints of God, they will automatically reproduce brand new sheep, thus revival. Leadership can teach revival, but the key needs to be on the "sheep" that reproduce the revival. If we only key on revival, we will only preach messages targeted towards the lost and forget to feed the flock.

Now don't misunderstand what I am saying. We need revival and should teach it once and awhile, but not all the time. We need to key on the "saints that produce" that revival. I'd rather have five strong, healthy, whole saints of God that are anointed with power, then to have 200 sickly, wounded, weak saints of God that can barely stay alive.

Preachers! Minister to the wounds and needs of your sheep! Lead them to the still waters to be fed by God! Teach them to love one another and carry a burden for their brother! Love on them and care for them instead of using them to get what you want! Forget advancing your name into the spotlight of popularity! Forget trying to prove to others that you are called of God!

Lead and feed your sheep into revival!

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In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (Joh 7:37-39)
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