John McCallum, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Hot Springs, speaks on “The Pastor as Shepherd,” during the morning session of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Pastors’ Conference at Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro. Photo by Caleb Yarbrough
McCallum: 'The Pastor as Shepherd'
JONESBORO – John McCallum, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Hot Springs, shared a message titled “The Pastor as Shepherd,” during the morning session
of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Pastors’ Conference at Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro Oct. 22.
McCallum shared various difficulties associated with the role of pastor including difficult church members and financial issues, including shepherding well even when they are not paid well. Pastors should never let money affect the quality of their efforts, he said.
Pastors should be an example for their congregation, chiefly through praying and reading Scripture daily and seeking the face of God.
“Show your flock an example of what it looks like to follow Jesus,” said McCallum.
“Love the sheep that Christ has entrusted to you with a Christ like love,” said McCallum. “Keep them in your heart. … Feel for them what Paul felt for the Philippian church when he said he longed for them like the bride of Christ.”
McCallum said that in order for a pastor to shepherd their flock, the pastor must place their trust in the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
“God trusted us to be the shepherd, not the hired hand,” he said. “Our job is to shepherd them in the journey … and remind them that the Chief Shepherd … will get them all the way home.”
McCallum shared the story of Chaim Potok, a writer who’s mother told him that instead of writing he should be a brain surgeon. Potok’s mother told him that he should be a surgeon so he could keep people from dying. But Potok responded to her, “I don’t want to keep people from dying. I want to teach them how to live.”
Much like Potok’s statement, McCallum said that pastors should be an example to their congregation on how to live, not motivated by money, power, admiration or anything other than the joy of leading God’s people to love and follow Him.
In the moment when Christ lays the crown of glory on the pastors’ head in eternity, McCallum said a pastor will know that every tear and sermon was “worth it.”
“What is the privilege of a life will be our joy forever,” said McCallum.