One of the scarier things about being in seminary and pursuing a role in church leadership is how elevated and revered some pastors are. I don’t just mean by their own congregations, because there are plenty of pastors out there writing books and doing the conference circuit who many people idolize but have no connection to their church. That scares me because I find my heart desiring that for my future role as a pastor, and I shouldn’t. That isn’t the role of a pastor nor should it be the desire of pastors.
I think the number one role of a pastor is quite easy to distinguish: servant-hood.
I love what Chuck Colson said:
“Nothing distinguishes the kingdoms of man from the kingdom of God more than their diametrically opposed views of the exercise of power. One seeks to control people, the other to serve people; one promotes self, the other prostrates self; one seeks prestige and position, the other lifts up the lowly and despised.“
Our American culture is turning the role of pastor into more of a celebrity role.
Being a pastor does not mean:
- Speaking at conferences
- Giving messages
- Making decisions
It does mean serving the people who God has placed in front of you. Too often I think we see pastors as doing those above 3 things, rather than focusing on the root of what should be driving everything a pastor does: Servant leadership.
I’ll leave you with something I read that really hit home for me:
“When we reflect on the history of the Church, are we not bound to confess that she has failed to follow the example of her Founder? All too often she has worn the robes of the ruler, not the apron of the servant. Even in our own day it can hardly be said that the ‘brand-image’ of the Church is of a society united in love for Jesus, and devoted to selfless service to others.”