Understanding that your job as a pastor is not to personally do every task, solve every problem or meet every goal can be one of the most important revelations you will need to be successful. God has given you a wonderful resource to help fulfill those needs, His people.
The jobs that need doing and the problems that need solving are not the real challenge of pastoring a church. The challenge is in what you use (who you use) to face those difficulties. Will you use those challenges as opportunities to empower your flock with significance? Or will they become the proverbial straws break you and your leadership’s backs?
Don’t be a pastor that tries to do everything, but a pastor that tries to empower everyone. People hunger for a sense of significance, purpose and relevance. There is no greater way to make that happen than getting them involved in
God’s kingdom in a productive and meaningful way.
As a pastor, part of your job description is to equip and perfect (mature) the saints.
Ephesians 4:11-12 ~ 11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Equip them with what? Does everyone get the same equipment? What does the equipment look like? Do they even know that they have equipment available? Do they know how to use the equipment? Have you ever even thought about these things? These are all valid questions and I believe that the answer is different for each individual.
We are all unique and “Members in particular” according to 1st Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 12:27 ~ . With that knowledge comes the understanding that there is basic equipment that we all must posses but we also must be equipped with tools and experience that match our unique gift mix. A pastor does not need all the equipment that an apostle does. One who is called to be an administrator does not need the same equipment as one called to the helps ministry.
When the members or your church are trained and discipled in their unique gift mixes they become more efficient and effective than if everyone is just trained on the same generic topics. Don’t get me wrong; you need regular teaching to the mass group to establish basic doctrines and understanding. Beyond that, you should be trying to identify the gifts in others and lead them on a path to self-discovery that will empower them with significance and a sense of purpose. This will make your life as a pastor extremely rewarding.
Empowering people must involve one-on-one ministry, there is just no way around it. You may not be able to disciple one-on-one with every sheep, but you can follow Jesus model. You empower your core group of people and commission them to go empower others.
Here are 3 points that will help you in this thought process:
1) The best person for the job is not always the most qualified.
Consider delegating tasks to people who have the gifting but lack experience. Pastor them through the process and watch how they deal with it. If you are going to be a church that empowers people, you have to give them a chance to fall on their face in a safe and loving environment. You need to stretch people and get them out of their comfort zone.
2) The real work of the ministry is not getting the work done, but getting the people done.
Perfected people are far more valuable than perfect programs. Have the mindset of always investing in people. If you sow good seeds in this area, the fruit that you reap will be some of the most rewarding.
3) Leaders are made, not born.
Be a part of the “making process”. This is how you equip people to do the work of the ministry. Make the most of the resources (people) that God has entrusted you with.