UNDERSTANDING WHAT A PASTOR IS
A pastor is an individual who provides spiritual leadership for a church community. There are pastors who live and work all over the world, operating in many different capacities. There are head pastors, assistant pastors and pastors of music, youth and counseling. Although specific job requirements vary depending upon the pastor’s specific role, there are some general characteristics of the position.
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o Whether delivering a Sunday morning sermon or teaching a children’s Sunday school class, pastors are generally given many opportunities to teach. Their teaching focuses on the Bible and how it applies to people’s lives.
o Pastors provide leadership for their churches by setting an example of how to live a life that is consistent with Biblical principles, heading up various committees focused on accomplishing the church’s goals and communicating a vision for where the church is going in terms of growth and development.
o Pastors provide counseling services for their congregants. Depending on the situation, they may need to offer marriage, family or teen-crisis counseling.
o Pastors act as servants towards their congregants by helping in times of need. They may visit the sick in the hospital, help raise money for people who have lost their jobs or take time to visit those with questions about faith and spirituality.
o Pastors help organize and officiate ceremonies such as weddings and funerals.
What Makes a Good Church Pastor?
I know most people, would look at a good church pastor as someone who is kind, courteous, compassionate and understanding. I couldn’t agree more, but I would also like to add something else. A good church pastor is someone who understands Christianity and tries to live a life like Jesus of Nazareth.
It doesn’t really matter, whether or not Jesus was a real person or God, the Bible portrays him as a loving and compassionate person. This is the example that most church leaders should follow. If this is what Christianity represents, then any good church pastor should be a representative of these beliefs. According to the standards of the Bible, that represents Jesus.
Doesn’t this make sense, if Jesus was a loving and compassionate leader, shouldn’t a church pastor be loving and compassionate also? If Jesus never went around asking people for money, shouldn’t the job of a good church leader, be one that doesn’t ask others for money, but maybe one who might think about taking a second job or maybe even a third job, to help the church out, and maybe pay his own way.
A good pastor should also make time for anyone in his congregation. These people are often looked up to, as the ones with all the answers, and instead of telling their followers, that they really don’t have all of the answers, they have to portray themselves as all-knowing, unmistakably, superhuman beings. That’s not what makes a good church pastor. If you don’t know the answer, explain your situation to your followers. You’re not Jesus and you’re not God and you don’t have all the answers. Let them know.
To sum everything up, a good church pastor shouldn’t keep asking everyone for money and should start to contribute financially to his own organization. They should also, show compassion to others and help the less fortunate. In other words quit asking, and start doing.
It seems like the more efficient pastors, put less demands on their followers and does more themselves for others.
More knowledge about a pastor
A pastor is someone who dresses in fine suits and walks tall in the pulpit? No, that is a fashion model; is it someone who speaks every Sunday and Wednesday to a set group of people about the word of God or related subjects? No that is a preacher;
So, what is a Pastor? A pastor is not an evangelist, is not a public speaker, is not a church representative, is not the owner or administrator of a building where the congregation gathers, A pastor is not a minister who is versed in theology or who can speak fancy words, is not a charismatic individual who attracts great crowds, and most importantly, a Pastor is not God.
So let us search the Dictionaries to see what they tell us what being a Pastor is!
The Merriam Webster says a Pastor come from the old English word Pasteur which means Herdsman, a word generated from the Latin pascere which translates to feed and from the word Pasture. In other words the English translation for pastor etymologically is someone who feeds the herd.
Another modern etymology for pastor is a clergyman, or spiritual overseer.
The word we use today for pastor is a translation for the word Shepherd, a word which means a person who guards, tends, feeds a group of sheep, it also means according to the dictionary, a person who protects, guides and watches over a person or a group of people.
Do these word mean to tell me that a person who is the head of a church that gathers hundreds or thousands of people and who preaches to them occasionally is not a pastor?
Are these words telling me that a person that administers and controls the affairs of a church is not a Pastor?
Let us find out what the Bible tells us about this.
The Old Testament registers the word Shepherd 173 times, and in all instances it refers to a person who feed the sheep, (Genesis 29:7) or feed others spiritually with God’s word. (Jeremiah 3:15) “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding”
The New Testament mentions the word Shepherd 29 times, mostly referring to Jesus, or the word is used by Jesus; and in all instances it establishes equivalence between the Spiritual guidance and teaching, and the caring of people, with that of the work of a Shepherd in the field tending the sheep. (John 10:11-16) “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep”, (John 21:15-17) “feed my sheep”, (Acts 20:28-29) “Be shepherds of the church of God”.
In other words, we have no instance of a pastor being other than a shepherd, a person who dedicates his life to tend to the church of Christ Jesus, a person who is willing to give his life for the congregation, a person who is dedicated to spiritually feeding those under his care, to nurture them to take them by the hand and prepare them for growth that they themselves will be at some point ready to become ministers of the word.
A pastor is a leader who is in charge of personally looking after the needs, the spiritual needs of the congregation. How can it be a reality that a Person be in charge of a congregation of 500 people and look after their spiritual needs and tend to them and feed then and know them personally (john 10:14).
How can a pastor know when a family is falling apart, when a husband has lost his job and cannot feed his family, when a member of the family is in distress over sin or life troubles, when He needs to take care of the administration and finances and organization of 2000 souls?
How can a Pastor feed his sheep if He is busy choosing the latest style of preaching outfit, if he is occupied taking one preaching engagement after another outside of his church. How can a man call Himself a Pastor, or allow other to call him a pastor, when He does not even know his sheep by name, or when his sheep only see him once a month., how can a man tell others he is a pastor when He is not there when ” the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it” (John 10:12).
I believe there are functions that men of God choose to take that are a blessing to them and to the Kingdom of God, and I believe that God honors those who take upon themselves to follow God Commands in their calls, whichever this may be. Be it in missions, or preaching, or evangelizing, or having large congregations. All these engagements honor God and help expand the Kingdom, yet they ought to be done Biblically, and called what the Bible calls them.
A congregation which gets too large to be handled by one Pastor, should be either divided into smaller churches, or assign group Pastors to handle their care.
A church can have 20,000 members, that is perfectly fine, and even have a Sunday service where everyone is together if that is how the leaders want to handle it, but any congregation larger that 200 people should be divided and assigned a Pastor to each group, this way the sheep will have a shepherd they know and trust, a shepherd they can follow, who can guide them spiritually and feed them the word, someone they can have a relationship with, someone they can approach in times of need.
A Pastor who has too many preaching engagements away from his home church, and who does not dedicate enough time to tend to his sheep should consider either reducing or eliminating altogether the engagements and focus on his flock or to assign a Pastor to look after the sheep so that he can continue with the call that God has set in his heart.
A pastor whose concerns are bent on administration and finances and the worries of day to day operation of the church, should reconsider his position, go on his needs and plead to God for direction, because that is not the Job of a pastor, he should assign those tasks to a trusted member of the church if the church is small or to an elder experienced in the mater, or find an outside person that specializes in doing this kind of work for a fee.
The intended purpose of this words in no other but to bring conviction to those who are pastors in need to refocus their purpose and their calling; and guidance to those who need a pastor, so they can better understand the type of church they may want to be in and the type of shepherd they want to trust their spiritual growth to.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands”. (Isaiah 55:12). May the Lord continue blessing us all! Amen.