Apostolic Perspectives #11 - The Pastoral Dimension
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors...( Neh.3:1)
Building the Sheep Gate is absolutely vital to the well being of an apostolic church community.
In principle, we should be guided by Psalms 23 where the Lord is portrayed beautifully as the ultimate Shepherd of the sheep.
Apostles and apostolic leaders can build a "pastoral dimension" into the church community that produces the outcomes which we see in this memorable psalm. Since many of us are familiar with it I will just move right into seven powerful outcomes that we can expect when the Sheep Gate or Pastoral Dimension ( PD) is properly built in an apostolic church community:
The PD establishes faith in Jesus Christ as the ultimate source of personal provision- " the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want"
The PD creates the right environment for people to grow in the Lord. " green pastures...still waters"
The PD ministers to inner brokenness by leading us in the paths of righteousness - " He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness"
The PD teaches us to conquer fear and anxiety through the assurance of God's presence and the Power of His Word -... "walk through the valley of the shadow of death... Fear no evil...You are with me... Rod and Staff comfort me"
The PD develops capacity within us to walk in God's favor and abundance, even in the midst of unfavorable conditions -"... A table before me in the presence of my enemies... My cup runs over".
The PD builds a confident and positive mental outlook on the future- "...surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life..."
The PD strengthens our commitment to the house of the Lord -..." I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
These are outcomes which can be expected when the Pastoral Dimension is built in an apostolic church community.
Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the sheep.
When we make the mature transition from homo-centric leadership to Christ-centered leadership in the apostolic church community, the Pastoral Dimension will be firmly built and become a functional aspect of every believer's life.
Kingdom blessings to you!