What is the true job of a pastor?

The other day I had a delightful call with a young leader who brought up the topic of how a Pastor’s role appears to have terribly wandered today. I did a little digging on what others are saying…

“Most books on church growth and leadership today argue that if pastors continue to do what pastors have done for so many years, they will fail.”

Too many churches today operate with leadership models started in world models and adapted to the church. This is dangerous. Why?

These business models allow people to put pastors on pedestals.

These models puts the needs of the church first and forget outside the church.
The goal becomes building the church’s own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God. (Megachurch mania.) It’s the…, ‘If we build it, they will come’ mentality. And yet, we are called to go

But, pride leads to destruction…

Proverbs 18:12 (CEV)
12 Pride leads to destruction;
humility leads to honor.

And, selfish ambitions destroys a church…

James 3:16 (GW)
Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil.

Instead, the role of the pastor should be based on a biblical model…


So, what does the Bible actually call a Pastor to do?

1. Pray first.

“Jesus lived a life of prayer. He started every day in communion with the heavenly Father. He ended every day in close relationship with His Father. At times, He even spent the whole night in communion with His Father. Jesus actually was in touch with His heavenly Father all the time.”

2. Do life out of a deep abiding relationship with Jesus.

“Over and over, the Scriptures show us that Jesus placed the highest priority of His life on spending time alone with the Father. His life reveals an intense passion for the presence of God. His heart longed and hungered to touch the heart of God.”

3. Preach the Word that is living and active, for heart transformation!

“We must study the Bible, not for curiosity, but for a new heart.”

4. Be in relationship with others. Do life with people. Don’t just lead meetings.

“Christ’s method builds relationships and meets needs.” Jesus didn’t die and rise again for us to be in meetings.

5. Then teach others how to do the same. (Emphasis on relationships.)

When Jesus began His public ministry, He called and empowered people to be His disciples— who would champion His world changing cause. As Robert Coleman says in The Master Plan of Evangelism, “His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow. . . . People were to be His method of winning the world to God.”

6. And live a life of sacrifice.

Time, resources, and life unto death… willing to get in the muck. I recall this list…

12apostles

God calls us to live the life Jesus lived. Pastoral ministry is not about us, but about Him—about knowing and serving Him.”

Read the full excellent article here: The Biblical Role of the Pastor

Related: Epidemic: Another Pastor Burned Out and Quit Last Sunday

Discipleship Things We’ve Forgotten

people-praying-together
“Success is not the pastor or the staff executing all the ministry; it’s them equipping the saints to do the work of ministry.”

“If you seek to build a church, you rarely produce disciples…If you seek to make disciples, you always get the church.”

“Pray about God giving you 3-5 men you can invest your life in for the next 12 months, and challenge them at the end of 12 months to replicate the process. And you watch what God does.”

“Jesus restricted 90 percent of his time to 12 men. And out of the 12, he restricted a large portion of his time to three: James, John, and Peter.”

Listen or read the interview notes here:

http://churchleaders.com/podcast/302734-robby-gallaty-jewish-jesus-discipleship-things-weve-forgotten.html

I’m in detox

Detox
Image source: pathtonature.com

After reading these two pages which were written back in 1987, I am pondering again yet another confirmation of how much I needed (still need) a detox… and full repair…


(From Danny Lehman’s book: “Bringin’ ‘Em Back Alive“)

Constant brainstorming meetings year, after year, over who (men / women) and what ‘methods’ of disciplemaking is right or effective, and then shelving everything we discussed, and coming up with little or no fruit, has sucked the life out of me…

I wanted to see change in the hearts of men, women, boys and girls, of entire families, a city, the world…

Arguing over a map and who is qualified to read the map (men only or women too?) will never get you on the journey. (Sometimes, you just gotta get in the boat and let the wind blow you to where the Spirit is leading. Control people hate this.  Let the Spirit speak and lead! Surrender. He is God.)

For now, I’m in a meadow with Jesus. He’s my detox guide as I heal from fatigue. He has rescued me from the storm.

Ps 23.

Resting.

Refreshing.

He has graciously delegated everything off of my plate to spend more time hearing His loving voice.

Quit the Program?

Why do we think we need a program?
(How to Live Life) Basic Christian Living 101:
Our minds are so programmed to be in a program…for everything. (Thank you Henry Ford for your assembly line model…) We go to an education program, we go to a fitness program, we go to a sports program… We go to a dance program…
So, when it comes to doing life together with others, why do we think we need a program?? Discipleship is not a program.
It’s a lifestyle.
It’s not the goal, it IS the way of living life.
When we live life too busy (often aiming for things that glorify us), we think we have to create a program for discipleship…. once a week…
Discipleship is doing life together.
We need each other.
Discipleship is doing life together, not having all the answers but finding them together, or even just asking the questions together…
Discipleship is sharing our brokenness together and walking towards Jesus together! It’s not BEING Jesus for another, Jesus is the point. We are not the point.
Turn on the discipleship lifestyle…
Grab a friend, grab a Bible, (yes, you can even grab a study guide with great questions), read it, share and listen, pray… all in the midst of crazy life that gets messy and broken… masks off, being real… because Jesus heals our brokenness.
There is not an eight-step program or perfect formula for making a disciple… (We think there must be, and then we think we are not qualified to disciple…)
Read the intro, watch the video… 🙂
First here’s the awesome description…
At IF:Gathering, we are all about making disciples who go and make disciples. In our next IF:Equip study, we provide a basic blueprint that helps women take practical steps towards building intentional relationships. We’re calling it WOVEN because discipleship isn’t a to-do list nor a program. We believe that it is a weaving together of individual’s lives and stories, just like we’re woven into this great redemption story. To help you get started, we present Jesus’ call to discipleship and a basic cycle of what discipleship looks like.
Woven1_1024x1024

What God Truly Calls Us To

“Constantly choosing to be busy may be an unconscious attempt to have value before the Lord. To deepen requires exactly the opposite! We must slow down, choosing to spend blocks of time with God in private. We need to let go of the value we place on service, availability and busyness and take up the value God places on quietness, trust and peace (rest). We need to be aware of being too needed in any work; we are not! God calls us not foremost to “accomplish,” but to a deep relationship with Himself. A deep friendship with us as persons is what He desires most.”

– Dr. Stanford