On Mission in Nicaragua
I recently traveled to Nicaragua with Dr. Giles Damron and a missions team from our church Lakeland First Baptist. Primarily the trip was a medical missions endeavor. People stood in long lines to receive dental and medical help. While standing there they heard a clear presentation of the gospel and given literature to help them spiritually. There was also bicycle repair and door to door evangelism. Simple ways to help, hoping hearts would open to Jesus Christ. A general estimate of the fruit of ministry was 3,645 salvations!
My ministry was to pastors and their wives. A ministry of encouragement because of the demands a pastor and his family enter into in their church. It is both a spiritual and emotional work. We often hear how hard it is to blend two families together that come from broken homes. The church can be like that in many ways. Different people, coming from all walks of life, different backgrounds, ways of thinking, things to share, and things to overcome.
So I encouraged and encouraged these families by reminded us of our calling from God.
We looked closely at what Peter had to say in 1 Peter 5:1-4.
1. Pride of position has to be absent.
"I who am a fellow elder" (1)
Peter had seen and walked with Jesus. Peter is an Apostle. But Peter says nothing of his Apostleship, he simply refers to himself as a "fellow elder."
"And also a partaker" (1)
Meaning," I am a partner, I am on the same level as you. I am with you in ministry."
2. The heart of a pastor must be present.
"Shepherd the flock of God which is among you" (2)
The original root word means to act as a shepherd, to tend a flock. Notice, "the flock of God." The flock is not owned or controlled by the shepherd. They are God's people and ultimately each one of them will answer for themselves to God.
And then "shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock." (2-3)
Those two verses alone speak of a "disposition" the pastor must have, a spirit of the volunteer, no strings attached to him, freedom and the absence of all performance based teaching and influence, and being an example to the flock because of the real inner working of the Holy Spirit through the pastor's spirit then soul and through the body in personality and manner.
Look at this grand encouragement from Peter, "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." (4)
I wish you could have heard the hallelujahs when I finished by reading this verse.
A final exhortation was this, "Yes, it is normal to get weary in ministry but we must never get weary of the ministry. So, guard your hearts by the reading of the Holy Word of God and walk in unbroken communion with the Holy Spirit and practically practicing His presence moment by moment and day by day till the glory dawns."