Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The Pastoral Role
According to Ephesians 4:11-12, pastors and other church leaders are to do something for you. This something may indeed involve preaching and caring and leading. But the primary task of pastors is to equip God's people for their work of ministry. To make it more personal, the primary task of your pastor is to equip you for your ministry. Or, it might be better to say that your pastor's job is to equip you to live your whole life as ministry.My question is, "What constitutes our ministry?" I think that too often that question is answered by cramming people into little boxes marked "trivia the church needs done." Yes, there is much necessary to the operation of an institution like a local congregation and yes all of it is ministry of some form or another-but recruiting and motivating volunteers does not constitute preparing people for ministry,
I realize that most church members do not expect their pastors to equip them for ministry. Our expectations have been shaped by centuries of church life that has exalted ordained ministry as "the ministry" and minimized the calling of all Christians to be ministers of Christ. Yet, in the last sixty years, Christians throughout the world have been rediscovering the biblical truth that all of God's people are ministers, and that pastors have the primary responsibility of training and encouraging the true ministers for their true ministry.
A second point I would like to make is that ofttimes ministry is not what we do, but who we are. What is essentially Christian about helping put on a congregational dinner versus doing the same thing for the PTA? Is it just the fact that it is for the church that matters? Ministry is often not about the work itself, but the quality of the work and the attitude of the worker.
Jesus did not come to make us do "stuff," He came to change who we are - to recreate us. It is that recreative process that pastors are supposed to be aiding. I wonder how many pastor do?