For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25 KJV
The Bishop, or as some translations put it, “guardian” of our souls is Christ Himself. When I was a very young Bible worker, I worked in a three church district in Texas. The senior pastor and I rotated preaching at two churches one week and then the other one the next. I was wherever the senior pastor was not. One day I shared with a retired pastor that because of this I felt like I did not have a pastor. The retired pastor shared with me that Psalm 23:1 says,
The Lord is my shepherd…
He explained to me that Christ was my pastor. I found later that in Spanish it reads,
Jehová es mi pastor…Salmo de David 23:1 Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)
Making it even more clear and literal that God is my pastor. Since that time I have learned to depend more on God and less on human pastors. When my sister and father and I met at my mother’s bed the night she died, we did not feel the need to call for a pastor to join us, for hope and comfort. God was with us that night. God was our pastor. He gave us all the hope and comfort we needed.
I have found it interesting over the years, how certain churches react to not having a pastor for a while. Some churches are afraid to make any kind of a move without a pastor. Several months ago I was called to do Bible studies for baptism in a church that had no senior pastor. I performed the baptisms because the associate pastors of that church did not want to study or baptize anyone without a senior pastor. When I heard this I could not help remembering Ellen White’s response, when members wanted to delay a general conference meeting until the GC president could arrive. She said,
God’s work waits for no man.- Ellen White, GCDB March 7, 1899 Page 161.
I have seen another church holding Revelation Seminars and evangelistic meetings without a human pastor, as it continued to grow and flourish. As a matter of fact another church plant sprouted from these meetings, and the local elder of the church became the pastor of the church plant. Remember while the world wanders after the beast, God’s people are not following humans, they are following the Lamb wherever He goes. See Revelation 14:4.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: John 15:5 KJV
The branches do not rely on the other branches for their nourishment. They rely on the vine. Likewise, when I was a new Bible Worker in that three church district, I had to rely on the Vine, which is Christ Himself, instead of relying on a human pastor, another branch for my spiritual nutrition. I had to let Christ be my pastor. Of course I still have pastor friends to counsel with. Proverbs 24:6 says there is safety in many counselors. Still, Isaiah 9:6 teaches me that ultimately Christ is my Counselor. Psalm 23:1 tells me Christ is my pastor. Christ can be your pastor too.