This is the only speech in acts that is addressed to Christians. It is not directed to Christians ingeneral, but to Christian leaders. It is a model of what it means to engage in pastoral ministry.
Notice ﬁve things about pastoral ministry:
1. Notice the ofﬁce that is described (v. 28)
- Overseers/shepherds of the ﬂock of God. Role of pastor, overseer, and elder is the same ofﬁce, but they are different Greek words. Word for elder used most often.
- Elder refers to the dignity of the ofﬁce, overseer and pastor describe the ofﬁce's functions.
- Elders were appointed in all the churches (v. 17).
- A plurality of elders is helpful because the weakness of one elder is compensated for by the strengths of the others.
- John Piper: "This is not a make or break issue." Instating elders in a church that has none takes time and patience (don't force it as soon as you enter a church).
- "If a man has not been called to disciplined holiness he has not been called to ministry." – Spurgeon
- Everything that happens in the church and ministry is meant for our sanctiﬁcation.
- It is one thing to preach on Sunday. It is another to live a godly life day in and day out for years.
- There are sorrows and cheers in ministry. Paul reminds them of his tears.
- There will be difﬁcult moments: people walking away from the faith, anger, etc.
- You cannot do everything you will want to do, and you cannot do everything wants to do.
- You will not be able to invest is everyone in your ﬂock equally
- What saves others is not your life, but the gospel
- Paul taught Jews and Greeks, house churches and publicly...he courageously proclaimed the gospel
- "If the devil cannot make you bad, he will launch you on a program of self-improvement." – Martin Luther
- Don't view someone as an opponent (politically) but view them spiritually as a source of sanctiﬁcation. It would be easy to criticize the sheep instead of caring for them.
- Do not be known for a rich or lavish lifestyle, but for your generosity (vv. 33-35).
- Do not allow your joy to come from compliments from others. Let your joy come from sacriﬁcing yourself for others. Humility is the pathway to joy.
- You do not truly love the Lord if you do not love people.
- Remember that the church is precious, for she was purchased by the blood of Jesus (v. 28).
- Do not create a personality cult. Invite others into your pulpit to make it clear it is about the council of God, not you.