Any man who has ever been called by God and served as a pastor of a local church realizes quickly that people in the church have many expectations of him.  The problem is that many times these expectations are different from what God expects of His shepherds as outlined in His Word—the Bible.

In John 1:6-8, the Apostle John describes John the Baptist in three ways.  This three-fold description gives us God’s Portrait of a Pastor.

1.  He is a man with human limitations.

“There came a man…” (v. 6a).  The Greek noun simply means “human being.”  Although the Bible has high standards for leadership, we must also realize he is a man with limitations, problems, and struggles just like you and me.  So, we must be realistic in our expectations.  Every pastor, just like us, needs to live a disciplined life in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

2.  He is a man with divine authority.

“He is a man sent from God…” (v. 6b).  You might say, “If he is just a man, why should I listen to him?”  The answer is…because he has been sent by God and appointed by God.  He has divine authority.  So as long as your Pastor is following God’s Word, you should have a submissive and cooperative spirit (Hebrews 13:17).  Don’t make his work one of grief, but joy.

3.  He is a man with a heavenly commission.

“…testify concerning that light” (vv. 7-8).  There are a lot of things a pastor can be doing, but he cannot neglect his primary task which is the preaching and teaching of the Word of God (see 2 Timothy 4:1-5).  God takes this mandate very seriously.

This is a portrait every pastor should follow.   Every Christian should look at their pastor through these biblical lenses.