What is a pastor to you? Is he the solution to all your problems? Is he someone who can perform extraordinary miracles? Do you think of Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham or Martin Luther King, Jr when you try to picture what a pastor is like?
A pastor is more than just the person who stands at the pulpit once a week and delivers a message. So, if you are wondering whether there is a biblical job description for a pastor’s role, then that makes two of us. Even though pastorship is somewhat of a sensitive topic, well, you know me by now, sensitive topics are my forte.
What Is a Pastor?
A pastor is usually considered the leader of a Christian congregation and the actual English word pastor is translated from the Greek word poimen, which means “shepherd.” Now let us understand the parable of the shepherd. As we all know a shepherd is a person who looks after the flock and ensures that all the sheep are safe, fed, and under control. Similarly, a pastor is someone who needs to be devoted and take care of God’s people, as specified in Jeremiah 23:4, “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.”
In the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the pastor should always be an ordained priest. Ordination can be defined as a process where individuals are consecrated before being allowed to perform religious rites and ceremonies. However, in the context of Protestantism, a pastor may or may not be ordained.
Duties of Pastors
A Pastor’s Relationship With God
There are many hats that a pastor must wear but his first duty is based on his relationship with God. How can someone be a pastor and advise people when He is not close to God?
Therefore, it is important that a pastor has a holy lifestyle and leads a life of prayer. He should be able to devote his time for God’s word and set an example the Christian life within both the church and community. When a pastor spends more time alone with God and seeks His righteousness, he ends up by having a very close relationship with God and as a result, God uses him to transform the church into a sanctuary for spiritually transformed lives.
It is very important for pastors to lead an honest Christian life as like it or not, when they preach from the pulpit, people always have the tendency to filter those messages through their perceptions of the pastor’s own lifestyle.
A Pastor Should Preach and Teach the Word of God
“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
– Matthew 4:4
One of the essential responsibilities of a pastor is to communicate biblical truth. The basic foundation of Christian life is faith and as said in Romans 10:17, “consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”
Like Jesus, who went from towns to towns and villages to villages to preach the good news of the kingdom, pastors are supposed to teach and guide people through the word of God by calling them to confess their sins and to accept Jesus Christ as their king and saviour.
In Jeremiah 1:12, it is said that, “I watch over my word, to carry it out.” God’s word is very powerful as it brought the world into existence and resurrected Jesus Christ from the grave. For a Christian, the word of God represents light, strength, wisdom and life itself. However, despite the gospel being an essential element, we often tend to neglect it, don’t we? And this mistake is also often caused by pastors who tend to reduce God’s holy scripture to mere information. But let us not forget how Paul ordered Timothy to give careful attention to the public reading and preaching of the word of God.
The duties and responsibilities of a pastor does not end here but that will be all for today. Until next time, please share your comments and tell us what you think about this article.