Summary: This message explores and attempts to dispell some myths regarding what a pastor should be about the ministry of doing.
(Opened with the "MeChurch" video - available from SermonSpice.com)
Everyone has their own idea of what church should look like. What church should be like. How church should minister to their needs and the needs of those around them.
So from time to time it is important to ask, what is the purpose of the church? Or to be more specific and personal, what is the purpose of our church? Why does SWC exist?
Fortunately, through prayer and reflection, God birthed within us a clear purpose: “Connecting People to God and Each Other By Living and Declaring God’s Word.”
Hopefully you have fixed that purpose statement in your mind over the past year, but just in case you haven’t, we will put it up for all to read. Let’s declare this purpose statement together. We are about. . .
“Connecting People to God and Each Other By Living and Declaring God’s Word.”
That is the purpose of our church. Now, for me that begs the question, what is my purpose as pastor? If that is the purpose for this body, what is my purpose as the leader of this body? What am I to be about so that I am proactive in moving us towards that place of fulfilling our purpose?
You see, if a pastor does not know his purpose, he can find himself in a very frustrating... even depressing state of existence.
One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, "I’m not going."
"Why not?" she asked.
"I’ll give you two good reasons," he said. "One, they don’t like me, and two, I don’t like them."
His mother replied, "I’ll give you two good reasons why you should go to church.
One, you’re 54 years old, and two, you’re the pastor!"
That’s what can become of us, of me, if we don’t know why God has us where He has us.
I want you to think for a moment. What do you believe is the purpose of a pastor? In fact, if you were given the chance to tell a pastor, “This is what you should be about... this is what you should be doing with your time.” What would you tell him, what would you tell me that activity would be?
Take a moment, and there on your teaching outline, list out the most important thing that you believe your pastor can do with his time. Maybe even the top two or three things that come to your mind. What do you see as the ultimate purpose and activity of a pastor? (Give a few moments to answer)
Now, let’s brainstorm together. Let’s see what you listed out as the most important thing your pastor should be about (write on white board input from congregation).
We could probably spend the next hour finding out that different people have different views and opinions on what is most important for a pastor to be about. Different people have different “job descriptions” for their pastor, and even their entire church staff.
One humorous piece I read this week listed out the following job descriptions –
Leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Is more powerful than a locomotive. Is faster than a speeding bullet. Walks on water. Discusses policy with God.
I’m not sure I have on the right outfit for that job.
Leaps short buildings in a single bound. Is more powerful than a switch engine. Is just as fast as a speeding bullet. Walks on water if the sea is calm. Talks with God.
Leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds. Is almost as powerful as a switch engine. Is faster than a speeding BB. Walks on water in an indoor swimming pool. Talks with God if special request is approved.
MINISTER OF MUSIC:
Barely clears a Quonset hut. Loses tug-of-war with a locomotive. Can fire a speeding bullet. Swims well. Is occasionally addressed by God.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION DIRECTOR:
Makes high marks on the wall when trying to leap buildings. Is run over by locomotive.
Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury. Dog paddles. Talks to animals.
Runs into buildings. Recognizes locomotive two out of three times. Is not issued ammunition. Can’t stay afloat with a life preserver. Talks to walls.
Every 100 Christians might have 100 different opinions on the role, the important activities, and the purpose of a pastor. Some of these opinions even come from good, Biblical paradigms. Prior to my trip to Haiti we looked at different Biblical paradigms of the Kingdom of God together. Well, there are also different Biblical paradigms of the purpose of a pastor:
- Shepherd (the Good Shepherd)
- Leader (Moses, Joshua, King David)