Except for several years when I served as a professor for a theological institution, I’ve been a pastor since I was eighteen years old (when I say that I usually smile and rhetorically ask, “What were those people thinking?”).
One of the main things I have pondered over the years is the job that a pastor must do.
Most pastors struggle with this because the job is so big and demanding.f I often visit with other pastors and ask, “What should I be doing now?” Sometimes I ask what should be the most important part of my work.
I want to give you three jobs which I believe are indispensable for a pastor and cannot be delegated to someone else.
First, a pastor must be the main preacher, teacher, and theologian for the congregation. The church will naturally become like the person who preaches and teaches. Though all pastors of the church should be pastor/teachers, the responsibility for preaching/teaching cannot be abdicated by the lead pastor.
As I read about the church in Antioch of Syria (Acts 11:19-26, 13:1-3), I see Barnabas, Saul, and others who taught the church. This was their main work. The Holy Spirit worked through their teaching. (By this time, the church at Antioch had become the leader of the Christian work).
Second, the pastor must equip the congregation. Paul spoke prominently of this responsibility. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/teachers were given to the church to equip the saints to do the work of ministry and to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16).
A pastor must lead and model evangelism, prayer, and devotion to godly principles.
Third, the pastor must take leadership seriously. Leadership, equipping, and teaching responsibility go hand in hand.
This is the part of pastoral responsibility that I see missing in many churches. People (at least in the church where I serve) want to be led. They want to be led by Godly leaders. They want leaders who are submitted to the leading of God’s Spirit and who are given God’s direction and guidance. When this happens, the congregation feels secure.
You see this kind of leadership prominently displayed in the church at Antioch.
I hear other people criticizing pastors, deacons, and church leadership. I try not to do that. The job of pastor is too significant and too difficult.
Would you pray for your pastor and the pastors of other churches around you? They are doing a difficult job that needs your prayers and your encouragement.