Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

1 Peter 5:2

The office of pastoral ministry is a supernatural gifting enabling the man of God to have compassion on the unlovely, patience with the perplexed, and healing for the wounded and tenderness to the broken. A gifted pastor is an icon of the tenderness, kindness, and care of Jesus to the flock of believers and to the wider world of lost and forsaken sheep. A pastor’s responsibility includes preaching, teaching, counseling, comforting, and sacramental provision. The more there are wolves in the forest, the greater the need for compassionate and caring shepherds.

One must not follow the unbiblical tendency to despise the office and work of a pastor or to declare clergy to be redundant . . . pastoral oversight is a permanent feature of the church. Though the New Testament gives no detailed blueprint for the pastorate, yet the ascended Christ still gives pastors and teachers to his church. And they are greatly needed today.

As the sheep multiply in many parts of the world, there is an urgent need for more pastors to feed or teach them. And as the wolves multiply, there is an equally urgent need for more pastors to rout them by giving their minds to the refutation of error. So the more sheep there are, and the more wolves there are, the more shepherds are needed to feed and protect the flock.

John Stott, Authentic Christianity, ed. Timothy Dudley-Smith (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), 292.