TOP 10 PASTORAL RESPONSIBILITY
TOP 10 PASTORAL RESPONSIBILITY
All Ministers of the gospel have had to deal with people’s expectations especially in terms of personal conduct, roles and responsibilities. These expectations vary by culture or denomination and church, but several biblically-mandated responsibilities are common across most Christian churches and impact the level of a pastor’s success.
Referring to scripture as our guide and source of wisdom, we read in 2 Timothy 3:16;
“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work”.
When it comes to the role of pastor in the church the same responsibilities also apply to local church elders, since the pastor is an elder too. Therefore if you are called to lead God’s people there is a much higher standard of conduct expected from you. So here are top 10 Pastoral Responsibilities.
- Spiritual Leadership
One of the main core practices of pastoring is being a spiritual leader for the church, therefore a spiritual blind man cannot be a good pastor. Pastoring is leading the flock of God to a higher lever of spiritual maturity. To be a spiritual leader is to be the watch man of God’s people.
So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he made his own through the blood of his Son – Act 20:28
Feed the flock of God among you, taking the oversight, not by compulsion, but willingly; nor for base gain, but readily; (3) nor as lording it over those allotted to you by God, but becoming examples to the flock – 1 Peter 5:2-3
- Be A Godly Example
Pastors are expected to lead by example. There is nothing like “do what I say but not what I do”.
A pastor must first be an example of a disciple of Christ. The Bible highlights a number of moral virtues a Pastor should possess (the fruit of the spirit), which including strength of character, love, caring, grace and humility.
Though pastors are human and are bound to make mistakes and often they teach by reflecting on their own mistakes, but nevertheless they are expected to maintain a higher standard of behavior to effectively guide the flock of God.
A spiritual leader must have a good reputation. He must have only one wife and have children who are believers. His children shouldn’t be known for having wild lifestyles or being rebellious. (7) Because a bishop is a supervisor appointed by God, he must have a good reputation. He must not be a stubborn or irritable person. He must not drink too much or be a violent person. He must not use shameful ways to make money. (8) Instead, he must be hospitable, love what is good, use good judgment, be fair and moral, and have self-control. (9) He must be devoted to the trustworthy message we teach. Then he can use these accurate teachings to encourage people and correct those who oppose the word – Titus 1:6-9
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect – 1 Timothy 3:2-4
- Conducting Worship Services
Pastors or church leaders are responsible for conducting the worship services, though this idea might be different from church to church, but in today’s world pastors often hand over responsibilities to conduct worship service’s in order to avoid disorderliness, and its also important to work with the worship leader for accurate time keeping, 1 Corinthians 14:40 says: Let all things be done decently and in order.
Outlining the order of service can be very helpful and time efficient.
A Traditional Christian church holds worship services on Sunday morning. However, contemporary churches sometimes have midweek services and night meetings as well. A pastor normally prepares and presents most the regular worship sermons or messages. This can include several hours of reading and outlining during the week.
The LORD therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you – Numbers 11:16
And we should consider how we can stir up one another to love [more] and to perform good deeds. We should not neglect our assembling together [as a church], as some people are in the habit of doing, but we should encourage one another [spiritually], and [do it] all the more [diligently] as you see the day [of judgment] coming closer. Heb 10:24-25
- Preaching / Teaching
Another primary duty of a Pastor is preaching and teaching the undiluted word of God either in good or bad situations.
To be a pastor is to be firm and stand sure on the word of God. You can’t compromise scriptural truth. Therefore being knowledgeable of the bible should be taken seriously.
Having personal daily bible study and strong theological understanding are crucial to the ability to preach and teach.
Interpreting biblical scriptures for the congregation, resolving doctrinal issues and also leading church members in bible studies is important for spiritual growth. Therefore a Pastor can’t be ignorant of scriptures.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.- 2Timothy 4:2
But some of those from the sect of the Pharisees, having believed, rose up, saying, It was necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the Law of Moses. (6) And the apostles and elders were assembled to see about this matter – Act 15:5-6.
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word – Act 6:4
- Provide Comfort, Care and Counselling.
Since a Pastor is a spiritual head of the flock of God, issues and needs will arise, therefore providing counsel or support to church members during challenging times and assisting in their areas of needs is important.
- Marital counselling for a couples who are on the verge of divorce
- Pre-marital counselling for intending to marry couples
- Frustrated members who are at the verge of giving up etc.
- Comfort to those who are grieving
In order for a Pastor to effectively fill this role, he/she need several biblically directed qualities, such as compassion, kindness and empathy.
“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.” Acts 9:36
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.- Gal 6:2
- Making Disciples
Since Pastors are responsible for the spiritual well-being of their church members, discipleship is a vital key to church growth and success in pastoral ministry. A pastor is commanded by Jesus Christ to raise disciples and send them forth to the mission field.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,- Ephesians 4:11-12
Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. (19) Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. – Mat 28:18-19
- Casting Out Demons And Healing The Sick.
Gone are the days where Pastors are ignorant of demonic activities, Pastor are expected to cast out demons from the oppressed and heal the sick through the power of the holy spirit.
Are any among you sick? They should send for the church elders, who will pray for them and rub olive oil on them in the name of the Lord.- James 5:14
And they cast out many demons, and anointed many who were sick with oil, and healed them.- Mar 6:13
- Officiating At Special Services
Since the church is full of people there is bound to be many other activities a pastor needs to officiate.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost – Mat 28:19
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: (2) And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.- John 2:1-2
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, (34) And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. (35) Jesus wept……….(38) Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Joh 11:33-38
- Ordinations etc.
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach – Mar 3:14
- Assisting In Church Financial Matters.
A pastor will be accountable to God for all financial matters of the church, therefore overseeing transactions; paying of bill, buying new instruments etc, must be taking serious and should not only be left to the accountant. It is Pastor responsibility to manage the church financial matters and also raise funds from the congregation if its needed.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. (34) Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, (35) And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (36) And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, (37) Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.- Act 4:33-37
- Overseeing Of All Church Group’s.
Success in pastoral ministry demands that a pastor must oversee and manage the church group to ensure they are functioning properly; appointing leaders and initiating regular meetings to report on challenges and growth in each group and department. All information of each group/department be must brought to the pastors table.
- Evangelism group of the church
- Intercessory group
- Choir group
- Media group
- Usher group
- Welfare group
- Children Sunday school
- Classes for new convert’s etc…
For this cause I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you – Titus 1:5
Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. Exodus 18:25
Though there are different title’s from church to church like Bishop, Shepherd, Overseer, Presbyter or Elder – all mean the same thing.
We also know that they are given by Christ with the purpose of equipping the saints to do work of ministry until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God (Eph 4:11-13).
Although I have listed 10 of the top pastoral responsibilities, the list doesn’t end here there are many responsibilities a pastor has, but the pastor shouldn’t have to do them all by himself.
There should strategy like that of Act 6 and like Jethro models of pastoral leadership, he has other people by his side and Jesus Christ the chief Pastor, the bishop of our soul is there to guide and strengthen him.
The responsibility put on pastors is huge and members expectations are high, therefore doing it alone might lead to burn out or mistakes. A pastor must learn to delegate!
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