Monday, May 18, 2009

The Preacher's Job

What is the main role of the pastor in a church?
In Ephesian's 4:11 we are told that God gave gifted men to be pastor-teachers. I take it as one person spoken of here, although some debate it suggesting it is two separate people being spoken of.

Sometimes I have heard the person in the church comment that "our minister is a great pastor, he really looks after his people, but he is not a very good preacher." I have also heard in other churches how people make the opposite claim. "Our minister is a really good preacher but not good at pastoring, he's hopeless at relationships and relating to people."

It really saddens me when I hear this for obviously something is wrong. And in many cases it's not the missperception of the person in the church who said this. In some cases it is that someone has been trained and given a ministry as leader in a church and they are not so gifted. It is our fault for putting them in that position.

However I think we also need to understand what Ephesians is speaking of when talking of the pastor-teacher.

It is the case I believe that an elder pastors by feeding God's people, by teaching them God's Word, he protects them, the flock by teaching the word, applying it, correcting, rebuking and encouraging the flock to obey the commands of Christ, Matt 28:20. In teaching them he pastors them, and in pastoring them he teachers them.

Does that mean he doesn't have to be all that relational? I know of a few preachers who come across as personal in their sermons, as very relational but actually find personal relationships very difficult and are rigid and stiff in relating at that personal level. There's no question about it we are all different. Some of the guys I went through college with were great at getting up front and leading singing and worship with a guitar - they were what I would classify as extroverts, whereas I would not put myself in that category. Does that mean I should not be a pastor-teacher?

The point to remember here is twofold, first God has given gifted men to his church. Second in deciding who they are God again has given requirements for such men. One of which he speaks of in Titus is to be hospitable, that is, a over of strangers. Someone who loves to care for and be hospitable to strangers. My reflection on that means that he continually battles to divide his time between the study and the market place, between studying God's Word and involvement in relationships. He will love both these things.

What do you think?

In Christ

No comments: