The Art of Pastoring and Pastoral Expectations–part 2

Yesterday’s blogosphere had a number of bloggers sharing about pastoral expectations, and of course, I also joined in the conversation, one in which I said I would continue.  Dan also has joined in, stating, 

There are times we simply need to remember the call of our Lord. The call to pastor is sacred and we need to return to those holy moments in our lives. They are precious.

As I said yesterday, pastoring is a calling. Paul says to the Ephesians,

Eph 4:11  And it is he who gifted some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, and still others to be pastors and teachers,
Eph 4:12  to equip the saints, to do the work of ministry, and to build up the body of the Messiah
Eph 4:13  until all of us are united in the faith and in the full knowledge of God’s Son, and until we attain mature adulthood and the full standard of development in the Messiah.

And from verse 12 in this passage we get the framework of what the pastor’s job is to do. It’s to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. The role of the pastor is an equipping role. It’s one where the pastor is called to come alongside others and help them in their walk with Christ.

Within the context of the leadership movement which I critiqued yesterday, far to often, the church leader or leaders set the ministry direction of the church and expect all to come on board and be part of the program.  Yet! this is not what the pastor is supposed to do at all. Every Christian is called, gifted and given certain vocations, talents and passions. And within this framework God gives us all an environment to live, breathe and minister – both within the context of the local and extended fellowship and within the context of our family. And within this context, the pastor is to come alongside, draw out, find out, encourage and equip the congregation and thus individuals to do the work which God has called them to do.

I have been very blessed that in the past, I have had a pastor who did just that. I would come up with some hair brained schemes, and he would encourage me and help me to put them into practice. And in doing so, some others within the congregation would get excited and come on board and help out, while others just were not interested. However, often they in turn would be excited and interested in doing stuff, which I had no real interest in getting involved with. And again our pastor would also encourage them to do their work of the ministry. (Alan, Ken, Ron,  if your reading this, I thank you for your time and patience for being the pastors you are)

It’s very tiring when the pastor and church leadership have to sustain the vision for the church. No wonder many who enter into the pastoral ministry burn out within 4 – 7 years, or church hop from one church to another, after only serving there for a few short years. Yes, there are times when God will call a pastor out from one pastoral context into another, but, I wonder if God really is doing it as much as some would have us think?

Pastors and church leaders, do you know the giftings, callings, vocations, talents and passions of those in your congregation. If not! Why Not? Are you concerned with helping your flock to know their calling in God, to understand their calling, to support them in their calling, to build them up to do the work to which God has called them to do? If not! Why Not? After all, it is what the pastor is supposed to do.

Too be continued…

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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3 Responses to The Art of Pastoring and Pastoral Expectations–part 2

  1. Hi Craig,

    I think that verse 12 refers to ALL the listed gifts, including, but not limited to pastor… and it’s talking about us as a community, supplying one another’s needs.

    I have a problem with this being related to institutional church, however. I see so many people burned out trying to keep the institution grinding along… when we were never called to run programs or put on a show. “The work of ministry” is not filling a role in church. It is being yourself, in Christ – wherever you are. We were called to be a community, which is a nurturing and empowering thing. Church structures, sadly, can be quite the opposite.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Hi Kerry, I totally agree with you. Because the context of the post was within the framework of pastoring, I kept it to the gifting of the pastor.

      I am not sure why you have problems with my linking it to the institutional church, as I made it clear that the pastor is to pastor the congregation and therefore pastor the individuals to walk the walk that Christ has called them to do as individuals. And in doing, they become the church.

  2. Ahh, sorry – I’m probably ‘shooting from the hip’ a bit – forgive me for being “spiky Kerry”.

    You did mention the context being church congregation, wider connections and family – and I see you live that out, for that matter. But then you bring it back to the congregational context – the pastor and his “flock” and the visions people may have for ministry within the church. I understand that is your focus – but for me, that’s the very focus I would like to challenge.

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