What is a lead pastor?
And what does a lead pastor do?
My answers to these opening questions led me to 3 observations that only scratch the surface of who pastors are and what we do.
Let me tell you first why I prefer the term lead pastor.
The equivalent phrase among many American congregations is senior pastor. However, that could be confusing when many local churches have a seniors’ ministry, and that group has a director who could be called the seniors’ pastor.
The average Sunday morning congregation across America is a small church with 65-95 people in attendance. Reality has shown me that most of these do not have the structure for many pastors. Also, the term senior pastor seems to indicate that there are junior pastors on staff.
Many congregations have less than the average number spread I’ve mentioned. So, the term senior pastor appears to be a tad overkill in such cases. In fact, the senior pastor is often the solo pastor.
I prefer the term lead pastor because it reminds us to take action regardless of congregational size. As the lead pastor, you must be an active servant of Jesus Christ and His followers, even if you are the solo pastor. And in a congregation where the structure is growing and staffed sufficiently, you are responsible for actively serving your fellow pastors and church staff as the lead pastor.
Perhaps you think I’ve made an unnecessary distinction between the senior pastor and the lead pastor. You’re probably right. It’s all semantics, right?!
The following applies to you whether you’re the senior, solo, or lead pastor titles. This even applies if you’re one of the many called, gifted, and essential staff pastors that serve with little recognition. I see you. I appreciate you. And I’m writing to you too. God knows, and so do I, that we couldn’t do His work without you.
Here are my 3 holy observations about the pastor you are.
1) You are evoked by the Holy Savior.
It all started with your distinct call. For some, it was a natural inclination that you grew into. And for others, it was a dynamic crisis-like experience. Regardless of the process, you were convinced that your life would be actively spent serving God in the ministry.
Pastor, thank you for hearing and obeying the call to follow our Lord and walk in His steps.
Our Holy Savior evokes you to remember when your passion was pure and your confidence in His call was unshakeable. You’re reminded of that original call when you get quiet during sabbath rest. He continues to call forth and use the gifts He deposited in you for His service.
Isn’t it a marvelous thing to know you are called by Him?! The call of God to serve the Savior as a pastor is both a burden and a privilege. You should pause and praise Him for that honor.
2) You are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
There’s a fire that’s shut up in your bones. It’s the unction to function when you’re physically tired. It’s the difference that comes upon you in the act of ministry.
The Holy Spirit enables you to do what the Holy Savior has called you to do. Without Him, you wouldn’t want to operate in your calling. Without Him, what you do amounts to nothing.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t glorify you or Himself. He doesn’t empower you to make you feel better about yourself or stroke your ego. By His empowerment, your main ministry goal is to point people to our Holy Savior.
Don’t you love this?! The Spirit anoints you to do the very things that the Savior has called you to accomplish. It’s a spectacular win-win situation.
Pastor, thank you for being a Holy Spirit-empowered servant of Jesus Christ!
But please don’t forget that you’ll always need His empowerment. I counsel you to acknowledge that in prayer regularly. Make that divine connection before every opportunity to serve.
What you’re not going to do is get so confident in yourself that you neglect the power source.
3) You are equipped by the Holy Scriptures.
I have to acknowledge this first. Essentially, the Holy Spirit is our supernatural change agent. He constantly wants to transform your mind from the inside out. He wants to conform you to the image of Christ.
His constant renewal process is always taking us from brokenness to new levels of wholeness. How does He accomplish all of this supernatural work? The Word of God is always His primary tool.
But as God’s employees, you can be familiar with the work our Savior has called you into. You might even sense His Spirit’s empowerment to accomplish the daily grind. But without the right equipment, you’ll work yourself into burnout and become useless.
The Holy Scriptures are always the right equipment. The Bible thoroughly furnishes your soul for the work of the ministry.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t anoint you to share your opinions, sarcasm, or wit. He anoints you as a servant of Christ to use His favorite tool. It’s the Book He authored.
Pastor, thank you for being equipped by the Holy Scriptures to effectively work with God to see people saved, healed, and transformed!
It’s alive in you! It corrects you when you’re wrong. And it instructs you in right living.
It fuels your spoken ministry. It provides you with wise counsel for your congregants. And it feeds your soul daily.
What are your thoughts on these 3 holy observations? Do you see how they work in and through you daily and weekly?
Pastor, does it bring you joy and satisfaction to know you are evoked by the Holy Savior, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and equipped by the Holy Scriptures? Which one of these three most strongly resonates with your soul today?
2 thoughts on “3 Holy Observations about the Pastor You Are”
Amen, my brother. Thank you for sharing
Evangelism & Missions Director, Asst. Supt.
North Carolina IPHC Conference
Falcon, NC 28342
910-980-1162 ext. 103
Thank you, my brother. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.