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What Is a Real Pastor?

I’ve been reading Alan Hirsch & Tim Catchim’s Permanent Revolution on my way over to London & then the Middle East.  It’s really good.  I still think Alan’s Forgotten Ways must be read – it has tons of stuff that can’t be missed.  He redefines leadership and pastoring in the church around the 5-fold ministry.  Been thinking about lots of that stuff.  How it would redefine church as a whole if we did it.  I’m questioning a couple of things in the book – not ready to say yea or nay – just a matter of theory vs. practice – but man is it a good book. 

One thing I have no question about, we want to reinvent church – more than anything in the West we must reinvent the pastorate.  I thought the pastorate was one of the most boring things a person could ever do because I thought all you did was preach and visit hospitals and every once in a while baptize somebody.  Why would anybody with drive, ambition, wanting to change the world want to do that? 

That’s what most pastoring is.  Pastors are gauged by how many people show up and listen to their sermons.  Pastors are gauged by being the first to the hospital or at a crisis.  Pastors are gauged by baptisms – who ever talks about being gauged by your disciples, your city, the world and how you are releasing the body of Christ to engage like crazy?  I’m grateful God let me start NorthWood, because at a new church you have freedom to redefine what a pastor is.  Here are some things I’ve learned and come to believe a pastor is and should be doing.

A pastor is the chief mobilizer of the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.  All the preaching, pastoral care, etc., must be driven towards the individual that they are not an end in themselves but they are equipped to spread the glory of God. 

A pastor is the chief discipler.  He has to help people find their gifts, abilities, talents, etc., and in doing that releases them on the city.  A pastor’s success cannot be judged by how many amen’s but how many disciples – and those disciples are not learn grow and go – but hear and obey disciples. 

A pastor is an architect building something for the glory of God with the people, talents, and resources they’ve been given.  The question is not, What am I going to preach about to them, but How am I going to take this, arrange it, and then release it in such a way that impacts lives, the city and the world. 

The pastor is the chief missionary.  Instead of asking, “How is my church? Their primary question is, “How is my city?”  The church is an instrument, not an end.  The church is the body of Christ, the family that will be eternally with him, on this earth, it is to be a love force to be reckoned with. 

A pastor is a mentor.  I love all the church planters I’ve had the joy of working with, pastors I’m working with, and close friends that I’ve walked with.  I’m with two guys right now I love being with.  One of them told me, “You’re my Leighton Ford!” Leighton discipled me and now I’m doing that with him.  I LOVE working with young pastors and being there for them.  I love encouraging them, challenging them, forcing them to dream bigger, and kicking their butt in love when they don’t lead in their home or work at the ministry God has given them. 

The pastor is a connector.  I love connecting people with one another.  I have these two pastors with me, and another young man who may be the Prime Minister of England one day.  It was fun being with them, shaking hands and visiting.  What I do, should not be abnormal.  When we love our city, the world, and begin to serve it – doors open.  A lot of people are waiting to be introduced to someone by someone.  I learned a long time ago, it is better to be standing in front of the King because you served his people and he wants to meet you, than someone introduced you – those are two radically different ways of pastoring.

What do you think a real pastor is?

Bob Roberts

Bob Roberts

Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.

Comments

Mark O

Thanks for your insight into the Biblical role of the pastor…very timely and challenging

Minneapolis Church

The pastor is…
I appreciate how you have woven together many of the opportunities that accompany the calling of a pastor.