30 December 2019


By John Ollis

I have just written a message to all Believers about the total importance of learning how to feed yourself, this blog is now to Pastors/Preachers.
I trust you have already before this new year and decade dawns  been thinking about and planning your preaching program for 2020. May I ask you some questions?
How successful has your feeding program been?
Are you tempted to preach often on your “pet” topics?
Do you ever ask the question “What are some specific areas I need to give some serious teaching and consideration too to improve the spiritual life of the church”?
Many Preachers have had members come to them and say, “I am leaving the church as I not being fed” and sad to say often the preaching from many pulpits today is of low standard and is not feeding the flock, or the Preacher simply loves the limelight and the sound of his own voice, and their is little or no Biblical content in  the sermon.
Often when a member comes to the Pastor and say they are leaving sadly, they are really also saying because “I don’t know how to feed myself and am starving”. We will look at this aspect of truth later in the blog.
The Apostle Paul  challenged the Elders at Ephesus in Acts 20:28 NLT So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.
To Timothy Paul said in 2 Tim. 4:2 NLT Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 1 Tim.4:16 NKJV Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
The Ministry of Preaching is so important, and so is your walk with God, to the Ephesian Elders he said “guard yourselves and God’s people” to Timothy NLT he said “keep a close watch on yourself on how you live and on your teaching. So please make your walk with God and intimacy with Him your number one priority.
The local New Testament church was led by a plural team of Elders (Pastors or Bishops) and as Paul indicated to the Ephesian Elders, they had to work hard at “feeding” God’s flock. So there were various Preachers and Teachers speaking into the life of the church, this gave the church a BALANCED DIET and the result was in the first century a 75000 strong congregation under Timothy’s Leadership.
In Matt. 28:18-20 we have what is called the Great Commission, and in John 21:15-17 NKLV we have what we could  call the Apostles Ministry Commission
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
In verse 15 & 17 Jesus tells them to “feed my lambs & sheep”  interestingly Jesus uses the Greek word Bosko when he tells them to feed. The Greek word has little do with feeding and preaching, the picture in the Greek  is that of the shepherd going through the wool of the sheep looking for the cuts and scratches and bruises and rubbish that is on the sheep, and that the smell of the sheep is in the shepherd.this is much more about Biblical Discipleship and teaching the new Believer “how to feed himself”  and then in verse 16 where in the KJV it is translated “feed” it is the Greek word Poimaino  which is more often translated shepherd my sheep, or tend (take care) of my sheep, which does including feeding but has a much broader picture. That is why Paul says to the Ephesian Elders “guard” the sheep.
So Pastor/Preacher:
Are you giving the sheep a balanced diet?
are you raising up many under shepherds?
Is the smell of the sheep on you ?
Are you also teaching and training the sheep “to feed themselves?
You may also need to look at your daily program, and adjust some of your priorities, the Apostles could have easily got caught up, in a natural feeding program but said in Acts 6:4 NKJV We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”.
May the Lord help us to obey His Word and feed the sheep well amen.