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Thread: How Well Does Your Church Understand the Role of the Pastor?

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    Frozen Chosen A.J.'s Avatar
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    How Well Does Your Church Understand the Role of the Pastor?

    How Well Does Your Church Understand the Role of the Pastor?
    By Dan Reiland

    Whenever I hear someone say ...

    "I'm helping my pastor get his ministry accomplished"

    ... I cringe just a little. I know that comes from a good heart, but there is a better and biblical principle still to be discovered.

    Ephesians 4:11-13 seems clear enough, but a striking number of churches don't fully understand, embrace and practice this biblical plan.

    There are three interpretations commonly practiced within the local church when it comes to understanding the role of pastor and the congregation.

    1) The church hires the pastor to do the ministry.

    This is common in long-standing small churches, almost always under 100 people. The church board has long been established and owns the real authority in the church. It's the group who "runs" the church and hires the pastor to "preach and visit." Other than a few of the most dedicated people who do a few things like help in the nursery, serve as an usher or play the piano, the pastor does the work. This is a very difficult scenario in which to lead change and move forward.

    2) The people help the pastor do his or her ministry.

    This is the next level and better than the "Hired Gun" illustrated in the first point. In this scenario, there are some, sometimes many, people who eagerly jump in to serve in all the ministries of the church. The pastor is the encouraging shepherd who expresses gratitude for helping him carry the load. But the pastor is still the spiritual hero of the church. It's often a positive environment, willing to embrace change. It has potential to grow, but sometimes slowly. It is a friendly environment, but has not yet embraced the biblical model in Ephesians 4.

    3) The pastor helps the people do their ministry.

    This approach represents the biblical principle found in Ephesians 4:11-13. The pastor is the leader who equips the people to do the work of ministry that God called them to do! The pastor is the coach and the people are the spiritual heroes who build the church! The pastor expresses gratitude to the people not for helping him or her, (although I'm sure, like me, they are appreciative) but for serving Jesus and advancing the Kingdom vision of the church. In this model the people are empowered to serve and lead according to their gifts and calling, and the potential for change and growth is significantly higher.

    11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

    Ephesians 4:11-13

    Verses 12-13 reveal the purpose: We are to build the body of Christ until we become mature in our faith and experience unity in the fullness of Christ!

    http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors...le-pastor.html

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    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    I absolutely agree..#3 is the most God centered view...#1 and #2 are far more man centered.

    When one call is elevated above the others or one gift elevated the body ministry has shifted out of balance and the flow of the Holy Spirit will inevitably be hindered. This occurs either because everyone is looking outside themselves for what God is doing...waiting for the 'leader' to let them know what Holy Spirit is doing... inevitably our own call and gifts will begin to go dormant; frustration and disappointment will set in because THEY are not doing something right...

    We must humble OURSELVES to seek His face and be led by His Spirit to fill the gap only WE can fill..to do the part WE are called to fill...period. A wise pastor will teach and release...give room....listen through the filter of Holy Spirit....recognize....encourage....through wisdom and love-correct...while always maintining the understanding that we are The LORD"S sheep, not HIS...

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    Senior Member Lively Stone's Avatar
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    How about the people, gifted in the ways that God has ordained---including pastorally, just as the pastor is also gifted in the way God has anointed him/her, work alongside the leaders God has placed among them in fulfilling the Great Commission?

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    Administrator fuego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lively Stone View Post
    How about the people, gifted in the ways that God has ordained---including pastorally, just as the pastor is also gifted in the way God has anointed him/her, work alongside the leaders God has placed among them in fulfilling the Great Commission?
    It'll never work. Makes too much sense and the pastor doesn't keep his position of 'Federal Headship.'

    Yes, I actually attended a church where the pastor called himself that.

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    Senior Member Lively Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuego View Post
    It'll never work. Makes too much sense and the pastor doesn't keep his position of 'Federal Headship.'

    Yes, I actually attended a church where the pastor called himself that.

    Wow. Well, what I described is how our church is. Loving it! We've been told often by visiting pastors, and well known ones that you may recognize, that we are rare. That makes me sad.

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    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lively Stone View Post
    How about the people, gifted in the ways that God has ordained---including pastorally, just as the pastor is also gifted in the way God has anointed him/her, work alongside the leaders God has placed among them in fulfilling the Great Commission?
    That is how it should be....that is why many are leaving the concept of 'mainstream church' and sometimes even leaving the churches themselves..

    God< IMHO, is Calling some out to use a catch phrase I don't care for but fits...to 'catch the next wave of His movement...actually I prefer the term I prefer is to let Holy Spirit be the wind under their wings...

    All of the movements restored something that had been lost...it SEEMS to me what is left to be restored is the simplicity of the NT church described in Mark 16:16

    He restored His Word, He restored holiness, He restored the Holy Spirit and He restored relationship and liberty...now we just need the scattering accompanied by the power.

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    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    We don't really know what is left to restore except for the power. There are lots of difficult passages in the NT that few or none have a really good handle on. Doesn't necessarily mean that there is something revolutionizing left but there could be truths hidden from view that would help us a lot if we got hold of them at depth.

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