Most of us would once have thought that the role of a pastor was fairly obvious and simple. Basically, caring for and feeding the sheep. Yet there seems to be tension between what some of us expect of a pastor, and what some pastoral roles actually involve.
These days in some church models, the caring and feeding seems secondary to inspirational vision casting, gathering and directing resources. Resources including both people and money. Church growth is the great justification for all this vision and activity, and it seems somehow that individual growth and genuine conversions are expected to emerge automatically as people participate in the process. Visible church growth is so important that the means aren’t debated too much, except for tracking their numerical effectiveness. Marketing is an integral tool.
On an earlier thread, MN said:
Despite what seems like constant crap being dished out, I think most here would know that being a pastor is a very, very tough gig.
It is not for the faint hearted and without being in that place because that is where God wants you to be potentially disastrous both personally and for those at the other end of it.
And that old dictum always applies: You can please some of the people some of the time…..
I really think there is an issue here over what pastoral authority actually means….what is it, how do you get it and lose it, how is it to be exercised, what the role of the elders is in all of this, and from a pente view point is there room for democracy.
So what is the pastor’s role, really? What are they really there to do? What kind of authority have they been given? Should they automatically teach, preach, direct and administer? If not, what is it that makes them a pastor? Is pastor even the right word? Does what we see reflect what we understand from scripture? Are our hopes and expectations from pastors too high, or wrong?
Likewise, with elders, which many Pentecostal churches have now replaced with board members. Is that a reasonable thing to do? Is there still a place for a traditional elder? How do we recognise an elder these days? Do we even know what they are for?