And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? (Ezekiel 34:1-2). Jesus is the chief shepherd, and pastors are also called shepherds in the New Testament. God derided the leaders in Israel because instead of taking care of the sheep, His people, the leaders were living in luxury and ignoring the needs of God’s people. A pastor’s main call is to “feed the flock of God” (1 Peter 5:2KJV). My responsibility is to minister the word in such a way that it ministers life to the “flock.” Jesus placed the ministry gifts (Ephesians 4:11) in the body of Christ for the express purpose of maturing believers so that the individual members of the body of Christ can do the work of ministering to their world. Those who don’t understand the importance of the teaching ministry of Jesus through God- appointed pastors have a hit and miss attitude towards local church attendance. If it was possible for us to be all we could be as a believer without the regular, methodical teaching ministry of a pastor, then why did Jesus go to all the trouble to place these gifts in the body of Christ in the first place? There is a movement in our day away from the local church and into house churches. While I understand the dynamic behind this, I believe it is a serious error for the following reason. Where is the ministry gift of pastor/teacher that Jesus set in the church in a home meeting? Does every house church have in it a person that is set in the body of Christ as a pastor/teacher? If not, then how can a saint of God be all that he or she can be without fully utilizing Jesus’ appointed method of the pastor/teacher and the other ministry offices of apostle, prophet, and evangelist? Para-church movements such as the home church initiative spring up when the local church fails in its mission. Many pastors have shirked their responsibility to feed the flock God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to manifest as He desires. As a pastor I have a heart for the flock of God. I teach the Word because of the biblical mandate I have as a shepherd to feed the flock. I encourage you to take full advantage of what Jesus has established for your spiritual nourishment. Get involved deeply in your local church and allow the teaching ministry of the pastor/teacher to transform your life! Your maturing and finding your place in God’s family may mean the difference between heaven or hell in the lives of those that God has ordained for your life to touch!