What Do We Need You For?
Top 10 expectations of Pastors (not in order of priority):
1. To Perform Weddings
2. To Perform funerals
3. To Pray for people
4. To counsel
5. To Preach the Word
6. To Teach the Word
7. To Lead Worship
8. To Evangelize
9. To Lead
10. To shepherd
During my years as a pastor these have been the skills that I tried to hone in the course of my pastoral duties. Some were part of my giftedness but all were part of the expectations of congregations. Yet, there is a misconception. Though most of these tasks should be a part of my life, they are not the primary duty of any pastor or leader in the Church.
Apostles, pastors, prophets, and teachers were given to equip the saints for the work of ministry. Pastors and leaders are to utilize their giftedness to prepare others to do the work of the kingdom. This runs in the face of "but that's what we hired you for pastor."
The by product of equipping is spiritual growth. As church leaders instruct parishioners in the disciplines of the faith and develop their gifts for ministry, they will bond together and grow deeper in Christ. Unity is often chipped away by people who are sufficants, standing on the sideline, giving opinions, but never really getting involved in the work of the ministry. They are too busy complaining about what others are doing or not doing to be of any use.
The process of equipping unifies people in theology, in vision, in goals, and in practice. When my wife and I started attending the church we have chosen to call home, we sat down with one of the pastors. We asked him lots of questions. At one particular point he explained their position on some issues and then said, "if these things bother you there are other good churches in the area, but this is how view and practice these things." In other words we are unified and would love to have you serve among us if you will maintain the unity.
Spiritual growth can not take place when there is disunity. This doesn't mean that there is 100 percent agreement. The body of Christ is diverse and is open to different perspectives. But unity in diversity starts with a solid core that is agreed on by all, and that is why churches have doctrinal statements. Unity in diversity works from there as we work out our beliefs in practice.
Reaching maturity doesn't happen by sitting in the pew and getting fat. Peter says we are no longer babies, so grow up and become mature. Maturity is evidence in our loving actions toward others not our knowledge of the bible. Maturity is evident in our unity in Christ not how loud I sing, flowery my prayer, or the amount of money I give.
The only person who wins when there is disunity is the evil, and he works hard to foster animosity and split churches. So two things are necessary. First, leaders, stop doing all the work and set out to equip the saints. Secondly, parishioners get off your butts and get to work. I'm just saying...
Eph. 4:11-14 "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,"