The Shepherds, whose names were Knowledge, Experience, Watchful and sincere, took them by the hand, led them to their tents, and served them a meal. Then they said,'We would like to stay here for a while that we might get better acquainted and also to allow you to gain more solace here on these Delectable Mountains.' So the pilgrims agreed to stay, and then they went to bed because by this time it was quite late."
These shepherd are pastors. In the New Testament, the greek word for shepherd , poimen, is used metaphorically of Christian Pastors. Like all shepherds, these four not only feed their flocks, but tend then, too. Their names - Knowledge, Experience, Watchful and Sincere - describe vital characteristicsof a spiritual pastor.
When evaluating pastoral leaders, often the tendency is to focus more on charisma, eloquence, or credentials. Though these are important assets, a pastor proves sadly deficient without knowledge, experience, watchfulness and sincerity.
Knowledge: Do our pastors know God and His Word in a way that glorifies him and saves and nurtures souls?
Experience: Have they experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in their lives and applied the faithful promises of God's word to their lives?Do they demonstrate a maturity in Christ that grows out of walking closely with him over anuber of years?
Watchful: Are they diligent to caution their flock against errors and snares that might defile and deceive them?Do they keep awake spiritually to guide and guard the flock from attack when others might slumber?
Sincerity: Do they truly know that Christ has called them? Do they look out for Christs interests, not their own? Do they sincerely love the flock God has given them?Will they care for the sick and wounded sheep and seek to find and recover the lost or trapped ones? Do they 'practice what they preach' or do they simply enjoy preaching?"
- The Pilgrims Progress Devotional
I thank God that He has been gracious to us in Immanuel Baptist Church, Sacramento to give us pastors who seek to do these things by God's grace.