“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
Pastors are the first line of defense against error. The Apostle Paul explains that a pastor (elder, overseer) must be able to hold “firmly the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). Why? In the next verse he explains that “there are many rebellious people, empty talkers and deceivers” who upset entire families, “teaching things they should not teach for the sake of dishonest gain.” This is also true in our day.
In Acts 20 and 1 Thessalonians 2, Paul describes the life of a trustworthy pastor, who faithfully lives out the message of the Gospel for all to see, so that the life-giving message of Christ will not be discredited. He warns Timothy that “the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (1 Tim. 4:1–2), and he adds that “In pointing out these things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus” (v. 6). For the sake of the Gospel and the church, he exhorts Timothy to “Watch your life and doctrine closely” (v. 16).
Because of widespread abuses, the term “man of God” has become a cause for mockery. But pastors who are well prepared can both warn their flocks and correct others with compassion and integrity. We’re here to help.
ACFAR partners with denominations, parachurch ministries, and theological institutions to train pastors in how to identify, understand, and answer cultic groups that seek to deceive Christ’s followers. Contact us for more information
ACFAR has created a special apologetics notebook for pastors! This tool will help you understand and articulate the essential doctrines of the faith, teach your congregation how to discern biblically, and give you tools to answer common errors you may face.
The ACFAR apologetics notebook is available in English, Kiswahili, and French (print and PDF), as well as Portuguese (PDF). Contact us for requests.
See our Resources page for articles and tracts that you can study and distribute freely to your congregation to warn them about false teachers and deceptive doctrines.
ACFAR’s YouTube channel features videos of special interest to pastors who want to warn and equip their congregations. Especially recommended: Promoting Discernment in African Churches.