How should a pastor think of the members of the church he serves? Too often today church members are thought of as customers or potential workers. This is not the scriptural pattern; nor is it the practice of our forebears.
Just today I came back to “The Glory and Ornament of a True Gospel‐constituted Church” written by Elias Keach in London in 1697. The work has historical significance for various reasons, but his opening words to his church reveal the heart of a pastor and the awareness of one who knows he is a steward who will one day have to give an account (Heb 13:17).
Your Souls, more precious than thousands of Worlds, being committed to my Care, as an Overseer under the great Shepherd of the Sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom ere long I must be accountable, &c. I could do no less in order to the full discharge of my Duty, than let you know your Places, Order and Work in that Church of which you are members, it being part (and that not the least part) of the Counsel of God, which I am in Duty bound to make known unto you according to my Ability.