WHAT DOES MY PASTOR DO?
“But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word . . and the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great man of the priests became obedient to the faith.”
Acts 6:4,7 ESV
This week I dropped my kids off to school. This is nothing unusual because it is my regular routine as a dad raising two kids. However, dropping my youngest one off is always interesting. He asked: “Are you going to the office?” I replied: “Yes.” He continued, “Is your office at the church?” I responded: “Yes.” He furthered, “what do you do at your office?” I thought about it. I did not respond.
If you are like the rest of us who live in the world of social media, then the answer to this question can be answered in many ways. We have the opportunity through social media to observe as pastors allow us to become part and participatory in their private world. We get to see through their transparency their “pastoral work” for the day.
But, really, what is it that pastors should be doing? Obviously, it was important for my youngest to know and I am quite sure it is a question many others would like be made aware of as well.
While the list of pastoral responsibilities is lengthy, I want to share with you three brief tasks your pastor must attend to – Preaching the word of God. Teaching the word of God. Training Leadership.
PREACH THE WORD
We are commanded or charged in scripture to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).” My average time devoted for sermon preparation is somewhere around 10 to 15 hours per week. I have learned that the best place for me is a college library that prohibits and prevents distractions. But also, though I have Logos, it makes available to me a plethora of resources. I know that anything during the week that takes away from this sacred time can be detrimental to what God wants to say through me the upcoming Sunday.
I despise those who do not take seriously this important task and are going through old sermons or working on “Saturday night specials.” God’s people deserve more. But more importantly, it is your calling. So, the first task is to preach the word.
TEACH THE WORD
The text continues: “reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching (2 Timothy 4:2).” Like the Ethiopian Eunuch responded when asked by Philip; “Do you understand what you are reading (Acts 8:30)?” how can they know “unless someone guides them.” Our other sacred task is to instruct our people in the word of God. The world is swelling in injustice and immorality. Unfortunately, the teaching of the word and/or Bible study has now become another worship. However, our members need to be instructed in the word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
It is understood at the church that I shepherd that according to Ephesians 4:12 my job is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.” The pastor wearing many or all the hats of the church is unhealthy and non biblical. My job is to train leaders for the work of the ministry. My job is to make sure that they have all the resources and tools necessary to continue to make the Great Commission a great commission. Their job is to assist me in enlisting, equipping, empowering and encouraging those who share in the work of the ministry.
These are just three. But they are foundational to everything else we do.
May God equip you to continue to do that which is pleasing in His sight.