Thank God For Pastors
Peter Drucker, one of the most respected leadership gurus of the last century, states, “Over the years I have made a career out of studying the most challenging management roles out there. After all of that, I am now convinced that the two most difficult jobs in the world are these—one, to be President of the United States, and two, to be the leader of a church.” What a wonderful and dramatic way of reminding us that pastors often play difficult roles and are in desperate need of strength, support and resourcing so that they can flourish in their ministries.
Our pastors are on the front lines of ministry. They are in the trenches battling every day to win souls, disciple their congregation and mobilize their people. After 20 years of pastoring, I have found that it demands far more of me than I can possibly offer in my own strength. Yet, I have also found that where God calls, He makes provision for me to flourish, even in the midst of a calling that is sometimes very painful and difficult. What is the role of a pastor?
“Our pastors are on the front lines of ministry “
First, a pastor leads their congregation
The pastor is a vision caster, an equipper and a team builder. As leaders, pastors are stewards of the vision. This includes continual vision discovery and refinement, constant vigilance to communicate the vision passionately and enlisting the people to sign on and give their very best for it. The pastor as leader also develops and trains their people to be effective ministers and then forms them into a team of people who work effectively together to further God’s vision for their church.
Second, a pastor teaches their congregation
A pastor must work to ensure that their people are receiving God’s Word with a balanced diet so that they grow into maturity and fruitfulness.
Preaching messages that are relevant, applicable and anointed so that each week people leave challenged and changed. It also means training the people to read, understand and apply God’s Word for themselves - to be “high-impact, lowmaintenance” Christians, thus seeing themselves less as consumers and more as contributors in their congregations.
Finally, a pastor cares for their congregation
Pastors are shepherds of God’s people. Caring includes prayer, listening, checking on, being present, helping up a person who falls, celebrating and grieving, providing wisdom/advice and offering physical, emotional and spiritual support. Weddings, funerals, hospital visits and graduations are opportunities for pastors to shepherd people and walk with them. But pastors who try to provide all the care for all of the people themselves will burn out and become exhausted. Being the shepherd does not mean I have to personally provide pastoral care for each person but it does mean that I must ensure that each person is receiving good pastoral care. As a church grows, small groups and other church ministries become more and more critical to ensure good pastoral care.
Being a pastor is hard work. It’s not for wimps. Some pastors wear themselves out trying to help people. Some wound their families because they are so involved in ministry.