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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Sularis, May 26, 2005.
What is the purpose/role of the pastor?
Id just like to explain my votes
I believe it is solely the role of the pastor to protect and mature his flock.
As of necessity he may need to do everything on that list - but he should be training others to do those so that he can focus on Preaching and Teaching as his primary goal. I probably should have click on Administration as well - but I think that once a pastor has trained his congregation well - perhaps they should provide accountability with each other since - the pastor will not necessarily always be there but the training and principles he outlines should outlast him.
Plus we can hopefully move that discussion from the other thread here
1 Peter 5:1-3 "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those alloted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock"
Ephesians 4:12 "for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ."
2 Timothy 4:2,5 "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction...But you be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
Acts 20:28 28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
1 Timothy 3:4-5 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?),
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 2 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.
In general the role of the pastor depends on the size, structure, and ministries of the church. Obviously there are a few basic things that a pastor must do by definition, but the overall role varies according the church with which he has been entrusted and the gifts on the pastor himself.
"...and have charge over you in the Lord..."
A serious question: How do we balance this Biblical statement with the Baptistic principle of the priesthood of all believers? What is the extent of, or what are the boundaries of, this "charge"?
Possibly the most significant issue for any Christian spiritual leader to face is this:
No Lording Over
During the Last Supper:
LK 22:24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
Peter said it well:
Don't lord over, but be examples to the flock.
The flock belongs to Jesus, not to the undershepherd.
I wish it could be a requirement for all Christian spiritual leaders to write a statement that would show that they understand the definition of "lording over", and how in their ministry they take the necessary measures to ensure that they will not "lord over" the flock of the Lord Jesus.
When Christian spiritual leaders "lord over" the flock of the Lord Jesus, incredible damage is done to the purposes of the Lord Jesus. Many will not know until the Judgment Seat of Christ how much harm they caused within the Body of Christ because they "lorded over".
Pastor Larry what translation you using? for your 1Timothy passage cause dang thats bad - real bad translation.
Well its 3 in the morning here I figure I should sleep - Ill post tomorrow after I regain conciousness
First, "dang" is a completely inappropriate word to use here. It is a slang substitute for profanity and has no place in this forum.
Second, the translation is the New American Standard 95 Update, almost universally regarded as the most literal of all translations. However, that is really not the issue. The text means the same thing in all translations.
I like the ESV and the CSV...but that's a different forum.
Having charge as an elder (and the church obeying) is a very poor understanding of Hebrews 13. Lots of pastors club their people/church with a misunderstanding of that passage.
I didn't see anyone here mention Hebrews 13, but I am not sure that it isn't talking about elders in the church. I would be hardpressed to exclude them from that category, given the emphasis of Hebrews 13, as well as the parallel passages in Scripture. It should not be a club to beat people over the head with, but neither should we run from it becuase some have improperly used it. I will be preaching from that in a few weeks ... or months ... not sure how long it will take to get through the end of 11 and chapter 12. So I will study it more fully then. Who do think it is referring to, and why would you exclude the leadership of the church from that command?
In the poll itself, there is still this inexplicable and unsustainable distinction between pastors and elders. The last question talks of congregational authority carried out by the pastor as one option and congregational authority carried out by the elders as another. Those are the same thing. Biblically, there is no distinction between a pastor and an elder. They are the same.
In the NT, authority lies in the congregation. When they extend a call to a man to pastor, they are vesting the leadership of the body in him (or in them, if they hold to plurality of elders). They should either follow him or remove him, IMO. He would be wise to be a leader sensitive to the speed at which the congregation is willing to move. Someone asked me once what kind of things I brought up at church business meetings for votes. My answer was "things I can win." If I don't have the congregation behind me, I don't bring it up. I work to teach and persuade of the course of action that I believe to be biblical. Pastoral authority does not mean running roughshod over the sheep.
The role of the pastor is servant leadership.
Ministry is a team effort. It is not a one man band. It's not who rules the roost but who rules the rooster. Some pastors are not very good leaders and depend upon the giftedness of the other staff or congregation.
Christ is the ultimate authority. God is able to humble the proud.
The Pastor is a shepherd. He is to tend to the sheep by feeding them, leading them, correcting them, keeping the wolves at bay, etc.
He should be willing and able to do everything named on the list.
That does not, however, mean that he should be expected to always do everything on the list.
A Pastor needs his flock behind him to back him up.
He should have some good Deacons to help him carry out his pastoral duties, excluding preaching.
The Pastor has control of the church, in a certain extent, but the church is ultimately the higher authority here on earth. The church has the power to hire or fire the Pastor whenever they feel he is no longer needed.
Our Pastor has no authority to hire or fire anyone, mainly because our church has no employees.
Even so, we do have elected offices, such as Pastor, Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer. These positions are chosen by the church body, and in fact, the Pastor does not even get a vote, only because he is usually the Moderator and the Mod. is not allowed a vote.
A Pastor should visit other churches. How else are people of our faith in other locales to know that we are here?
He should be a friendly person. I've seen many Elders who could preach, but they should not have been Pastors. They couldn't handle the leadership position.
Our Deacons have been given authority to pay the ministers and decide how much pay, on a pre-determined scale, each minister will receive.
Most decisions are made by the church body in conference. Any minor decisions, like most of those not involving money, are usually handled by the Pastor, Deacons, and/or a small committee of men.
Probably 90% of the decisions we make are done by asking the question in conference, forming a committee to investigate, hearing the report from the committee at the next conference, and also voting with or against the committee in that conference after a brief discussion by the church as a whole.
During the conference, the Pastor usually has little say, as, once again, he is usually the Moderator, and the Moderator does not usually join the discussion to a large degree.
That is about all I can think of right now.