The Role of the SheepVarious Texts
Shepherding God's People
J. Josh Smith
May 8, 2016
There are certain roles within every family. Husbands, wives, and children all have different responsibilities within the home. Families can only function properly and fulfill the purpose for which God created them if everyone within the family knows and fulfills their role. The “household of God” is no different. Pastors and church members each have their own roles. These distinct responsibilities work together for the building up of the body of Christ to mature manhood and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Thus, church organization and governance is important—everybody must understand, embrace, and fulfill their responsibilities within the church.
Church members are responsible for affirming gospel citizens by accepting new members into the church (thus declaring their belief that he or she is a kingdom citizen) and removing members from the church through discipline (thus declaring their belief that he or she is not a kingdom citizen). The congregation is also responsible for preserving the gospel message. You must know the gospel, be able to discern false gospels, and address false gospels if they are proclaimed. While we must not develop a critical spirit, we must be a discerning people. The congregation also engages in gospel ministry. You must discern your spiritual gifts and use them through your local church for the building up of the body and the fulfillment of the mission of Christ. Finally, the congregation is responsible for calling and honoring godly leaders. The congregation calls new pastors to lead them and then submits to their lead, esteeming them highly. Furthermore, the congregation must remove pastors if they begin teaching a false Gospel or walking in unrepentant sin.
Are you fulfilling your responsibilities as a church member? In which of the four primary responsibilities do you need the most growth? Ask God to help you to overcome areas of sin or weakness when He makes you aware of them. Let’s be a church family that functions properly, according to the instructions of Scripture, for the sake of the name and mission of Jesus Christ!
Discipleship, Encouragement, Family, Leadership, Worship