Top 5 Tasks of a Pastor
The pastor of a congregation wears many hats. He has his finger constantly on the pulse of his church’s spiritual wellness. He is available to the Lord’s call and to the call of his flock. He is a servant to the servants. Although there are a multitude of tasks that a pastor may find himself performing, here are the top 5:
Preaching: Not that this list is in any particular order, but preaching is given priority because when one thinks of a pastor or preacher, one automatically thinks of a person in a pulpit giving a Biblical message. After all, preachers preach. Teaching his flock the Word of God is of utmost importance to one called to the office of pastor (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9).
Under-shepherding: The word “pastor” comes from a Latin word, which means, “shepherd.” Jesus is the Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4) and pastors are His under-shepherds. In His absence, Jesus instructed Peter to feed His sheep (John 21:15-17). As a literal shepherd guards, protects, and tends to his flock, a pastor guards, protects, and tends to the needs of the congregation (1 Pet. 5:2; Acts 20:28). There is no more tender and powerful metaphor than this.
Praying: A pastor’s first responsibility is to God, the Father. An open dialogue and intimate relationship is absolutely vital to successful ministry (Eph. 6:18). The early church fathers practiced “night and day praying exceedingly” (1 Thes. 3:10). How much more should contemporary pastors?
Modeling: Pastors are to live a life worth imitating (1 Pet. 5:3). Paul was able to say, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). How many Christians could say that? This doesn’t mean that pastors are supposed to act like they “have it all together” all the time. It means being honest about successes and shortcomings. Pastors represent Christianity to the world and therefore ought to do their best to do so “justly and blamelessly” (1 Thes. 2:10).
Loving/Serving: These two tasks are co-joined because, could they ever be separated? Just as Christ came to serve (Matt. 20:28), likewise, a pastor is to lovingly serve his fellow man. A local pastor once said that becoming a pastor is not a step up, but a step down into servitude. Christians in general, but pastors in particular, are called to a life of serving “one another in love” (Gal. 5:13). A pastor who loves, serves and a pastor who serves, loves. It is a win-win.
Submitted to Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of the course LEAD 635 Theology of Pastoral Ministry