Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Pastor is...

I was talking with a friend of mine, who happens to be a Senior Pastor, about what a pastor is.  He said that there was a secular study done recently on what the perfect pastor is.  And, after looking at the expectations put on a pastor, this secular group decided that a pastor would have to be a sociopath.  In other words, if you want to be a pastor, in Today's church, you have to be nuts! 

So what is a pastor?  Here is what I have heard, experienced, placed on myself, and observed over the years.  A pastor is....a shepherd, caretaker, teacher, preacher, counselor, administrator, good with people, good with details, a leader, a servant, a follower, able to make difficult choices and lead people into those choices, yet someone who keeps the peace.  Progressive, yet holding to the deep traditions.  Able to connect with the elderly, yet draw in youth. A strong family, with kids who respect him and the Lord, yet someone who is always available & willing to work long hours. A CEO type, yet a lowly shepherd.  Quick witted, yet following the Spirit's lead. You can probably add to this. 

To all this I say, "Poppycock!"

Let's, instead, consider what the Bible teaches on this.

1. His Calling- What he does- The MAIN thing (Ephesians 4:11-13)

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, TO EQUIP HIS PEOPLE for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the who measure of the fullness of Christ."

What is the primary focus of a pastor to be? By which do the elders judge his effectiveness?  It is... is he equipping Jesus' people to use their gifts to serve & build up the body of Christ? 

Does this mean he is a people person?  Maybe, maybe not.  Does this mean he is good with details?  Maybe, maybe not.  We evaluate a shepherd by whether or not he is focused on equipping people to serve.  In stead of every churchie adding his/her opinion on who we think the pastor ought to be, we should offer our opinions up to God & be thankful that the pastor is teaching us how to build God's kingdom & grow in our faith.  Let us quit asking, "Are those Bugle Boy jeans he is wearing?" or whatever other irrelevant thoughts Satan throws our way and instead pray that our pastor would be a greater equipper.

2. His Character- 1 Timothy 3:1-13

A pastor, or any other overseer in the church should possess these character qualities.  The phrase "above reproach" is the effective phrase that describes these qualities.  The phrase literally means, "without handles".  It is not saying that a leader never sins or blows it.  Rather,  a leader lives with such character that there is no PATTERN of sin or handle that someone could grab onto and say, "Here is something they always struggle with.".

SO, does your pastor have 1 Timothy character?  Are the trying to equip you to serve Jesus and become like him?  Then praise God!!  If you don't care for his personality, or he may be a bit odd.  Well, I am sure some have the same opinion of you.  Let's keep the unnecessary judgments and opinions between us and the Lord.  And let us pray for our pastor's character & equipping ministry.  And be a blessing to them.  And even more, let's remember why Jesus gave us the pastor he did.  It is for you, for me, that we would be better equipped to serve others, to become like Jesus, and to build God's kingdom. 

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