3 Things Every Pastor Must Do

What occupies the majority of your time as a pastor?

Every pastor is different, and every pastoral assignment is different. And within these differences, we must learn where most of our time should be proactively focused.
Perhaps your focus is on preaching better sermons or providing the most excellent pastoral care. Maybe your heart is consumed with developing the leaders within your congregation. Or perhaps there’s an outreach ministry with which your pastoral heart is consumed.
I certainly recognize in my current pastoral assignment that I am responsible for developing our leadership and leading the congregation I serve. However, I’ve concluded that as the leading voice in the pulpit, there are three things my spoken ministry must accomplish.
1. I must tell unbelievers how to get right with God. 
This is pastoral evangelism.
Assuming that every person in your audience is in the right relationship with God is an eternally dangerous thing to do. Presuming that every individual in the congregation is right with God is just as erroneous. Of course, the smaller the congregation, the more accurate your discernment could be. However, I don’t mind the risk of offending the unchurched or the over-churched in my congregation. I sense a divine mandate to tell everyone how to get right with God. 
2. I must teach believers how to live right for God.
This is pastoral discipleship.
Sometimes I know exactly who needs to be taught and what they need to be taught. Most of the time, I sense the leadership of the Spirit pushing me to teach believers from a specific theme or topic. Other times, I might be sure that He wants me to teach through a book of the Bible or simply preach a few messages from a particular portion of Scripture. But at all times, I know that God has called me to teach believers how to live right for God. This is done by staying in communion with Christ and His holy word. Because of this compulsion, I rarely get too involved with other outside interests.
3. I must train believers to do these first two tasks.
This is pastoral equipping.
Every believer needs to learn how to go about personal evangelism. And I cannot assume they will acquire that desire alone. By preaching to inspire them and teaching to empower them, I must equip the believers under my care to obey the Lord’s charge to missional evangelism. And then, after the conversion, there is an obvious need for discipleship. But I cannot personally disciple every believer in my congregation, and I’m not supposed to either. If I attempt to personally disciple every convert, I am robbing other members of the Body of Christ from being able to fulfill their calling. And I am unintentionally keeping my congregation small. Therefore, I must fulfill my pastoral charge in such a manner that I equip others to do the work of evangelism and discipleship.
Actually, I believe that the task of every God-called Gospel minister is three-fold. Tell unbelievers how to get right with God, teach believers how to live right for God, and then train believers to do the first two.
I don’t mean to oversimplify the pastoral call or to make it sound easy to accomplish. It’s accomplished despite many difficulties over a lengthier course of time than what we desire.
However, it sometimes helps me to reduce the ministry to a more straightforward form. In this way, I can wrap my mind around it all and lose the stress over the enormity of the call. 
What about you, pastor?
What occupies most of your time, and what activities must you accomplish through your spoken ministry?

2 thoughts on “3 Things Every Pastor Must Do

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