Jesus the Good, Great, Chief Shepherd
Jesus is referred to as the "Good Shepherd" (John 10:14–16; cf. Psalm 23:1–6), the "Great Shepherd" (Hebrews 13:20–21), and the "Chief Shepherd" (1 Peter 5:4). Jesus tells us, "I lay down my life for the sheep" (John 10:15). This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep . . . If anyone enters by me, he will be saved" (John 10:7–9). Shepherds in the Middle East lay down in the doorway of the sheep-pen to protect their sheep and keep them safe. It's like Jesus is saying, "You want [to be] my sheep? Over my dead body!"
The risen and ascended Christ has given us shepherds and teachers "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11–12). The Greek word in the Bible for "pastor" actually means "shepherd" because pastors are called by God to care for the people of God in the same way that a shepherd cares for his sheep (Ezekiel 34:1–31). In other words, Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and Overseer of the flock, his church (1 Peter 2:25; 5:4), yet he has given undershepherds as gifts to know, lead, feed, and protect the church (1 Peter 5:1–4). These pastors are the men Arlington Baptist Church has recognized as elders. We understand the Scriptures to use three different words to refer to the same office in the local church: pastors (Ephesians 4:11), elders (Acts 20:17; 1 Peter 5:1; Titus 1:5), or overseers (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:7). Furthermore, because we understand the Bible to teach that pastoral leadership in the church is not to be restricted to one man, we believe in a plurality of pastors. The practical benefits of plurality include biblical accountability, balance of spiritual gifts, burden sharing, and a better picture of the church.
Prior to serving as the Senior Pastor of Arlington Baptist Church, Mike Law Jr. served as the planting pastor of a local church in Northern Virginia and as a Pastoral Assistant to Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Mike was privileged to grow up in a Christian home and recalls sitting under a preacher as a child and being convinced of his sin and need for a Savior. Mike’s mother first thought he would enter the ministry when he was suspended from the public school bus at age 8 for sharing the gospel, but it wasn’t until he was studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland that he was compelled to serve the Lord in full-time ministry. Mike is a graduate of the Reformed Theological Seminary (DC), and lives with his wife, Lisa, and their four great kids.
Jed Kampen grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. By God's kindness, his believing parents taught him the gospel, and at a very young age Jed repented of his sins and placed his faith in Jesus. God blessed Jed and grew his understanding of the gospel through the ministry of gospel preaching churches in Wisconsin and Indiana. Since moving to DC in 2014, God has used Arlington Baptist Church to continue to grow Jed in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jed does engineering work in DC, and is taking part-time classes at Reformed Theological Seminary (DC). He and his wife have four kids and live in Alexandria.
William Smith was first called to serve as an elder in 2012. Although William grew up with two Christian parents in Ozark, Alabama and responded to God’s gracious call at a young age, it was not until after college that he recognized the importance of surrounding himself with like-minded believers inside and outside of the church. After moving to Washington, DC in 2001, William discovered Capitol Hill Baptist Church, where his spiritual growth was enhanced through sound teaching and accountability. His desire to study the Scriptures more and teach God’s word has also increased. William currently works on Capitol Hill. He and his wife Diamond reside in Burke with their three children.