THE JOB OF A PASTOR
… holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. Titus 1:9
Job descriptions. They are necessary and important in letting people know what is required of specific positions within an organization. It would be foolish to take a job and not know what the position required or what is expected in order to be successful.
When it comes to church, many people have a skewed understanding of the job description of a pastor. The Apostle Paul hits this key subject head on in his letter to Titus. After listing a number of critical character qualities of a pastor, Paul then gives a very direct statement as to the job.
WHAT IS A PASTOR TO DO?
1. Spend time with the Lord in His Word. A pastor is to “let the Word of Christ richly dwell within [him]” (Col. 3:16). No pastor can adequately do his job unless he is growing in the Lord and in his understanding of the Word of God. You can’t give out what you do not possess. First and foremost, a pastor needs to nourish himself spiritually so that he can be able to nourish others. It's kind of like the oxygen mask in the airplane. The flight attendant always tells you in the event of an emergency, put your mask on first ... and then you are ready and able to help your neighbor.
2. Encourage the people in God’s Word. All people need to be exhorted and encouraged to trust the Lord. The challenges and difficulties of life can easily get us discouraged and cause us to doubt. It is the job of the pastor to help people see that God knows, cares, and is able. It is the pastor who is to communicate the words and sentiment of Nehemiah, "Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight …” (Neh. 6:14). Nothing encourages and strengthens like the Word of God. Pastors who get away from teaching and preaching the Bible are missing the boat and not doing their job. In the last chapter Paul ever penned, he exhorted young Timothy to “preach the word” (1 Tim. 4:2). We are not called to preach human philosophy, pop psychology, or "feel good" theology. We are called to preach, "Thus says the Lord."
3. Refute those who contradict God’s Word. In the day and age in which we live, we desperately need for pastors to stand up and speak the truth in love. We need pastors to boldly and courageously call a spade a spade. A good shepherd leads the sheep, feeds the sheep, cares for the sheep, and protects the sheep from the wolves.
Make no mistake, the devil is working overtime to erase the out-of-bounds markers and water down the truth of Scripture. Kids today are growing up not knowing what is moral and what is immoral. Many in the pew have no discernment when it comes to truth and error. Multitudes of church members in every denomination believe the colossal lie that going to heaven requires their good works in addition to what Jesus did on the cross. A pastor has to speak the truth and unashamedly rebuke the lies of the enemy that are rapidly infiltrating and polluting the church like a broken sewer pipe. If the pastor is unwilling to refute those who contradict, he is not doing his job … and he will answer to God for it one day.
With this month being Pastor Appreciation Month, please take time to encourage your pastor. What he does may look easy, but trust me, it is not. Pray for him to be a growing believer and a true man of God. Exhort him to fulfill his job description. You will be blessed, he will be successful, and the Lord will be glorified.
P.S. Would you let us join in in prayer? Leave your prayer request on ourPrayerWorks link and allow people from all over the world to pray for you. You can also receive an email alert when someone prays for you ... and it is completely anonymous. Thanks for letting us be a blessing to you.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.