The Role of a Pastor – Equip Saints for Ministry – I want to close this series by talking to fellow pastors. My admonitions to you are not wishful thinking; we have walked this out and know it to be true. If your church is even halfway healthy, there are evangelists in your church, do you know them? They are like the imprisoned warrior who has forgotten his own strength, being locked away so long he has lost his desire to even fight. All he sees are the walls around him, and he has submitted himself to the one with the keys, though he possesses the power to break free. Pastors, you are the ones with the keys, and let’s be honest, we like the predictability, control, and exclusivity we enjoy by keeping our people at bay. Think I’m off my rocker? How many times a year do you preach at your church, and how many times a year do you let other able and qualified men in your church preach? Why do we have a senior pastor with deacons and lay people who serve beneath, instead of an abundance and plurality of qualified men leading churches with deacons who serve beside? Why are we more concerned with how many joined our church last year than with how many were sent out? Can you list all the teachers in your body, all the pastors, the evangelists, and the prophets, and the church planters among you? And if you have identified them, how are you equipping them for ministry in those offices? If we are honest, some of our churches are incredibly out of balance and can hardly be defined as Biblical. A pastor talking to a bunch of people who show up looking for a “hit” of Jesus each week so they can feel better about themselves is not a church. We will have a greater impact in prolife ministry when the Church realizes again that it is one big body of many parts working together for the common good of the Gospel and the advancement of the Glory of God in all the earth. This happens in life on mission, not from 11-12 on Sunday morning. God is saying to you today, pastor, let my people GO!
I’m done preaching, pastors, you and I must literally be equipping the people in our church body for real ministry, actually living on mission with God, not satisfied until they are. It might not be your role to be at an abortion clinic every Saturday, but you have people at your church that would come for the rest of their life if you led them there just a few times. Same for many other ministries, gifts, and callings. If your church is larger than 100, I can assure you that there are some evangelists sitting around perfect for pro-life ministry, wishing someone would help them accomplish their calling. Don’t leave your people in prison by never equipping them to be what they’ve been called to be. Let’s put away the 3-point self help sermons and start calling God’s Gospel army to holy war. Let’s come down from our stage and pulpit, put on some commoner clothes, and lead the people in our church out into places where dying people are. Into ghettos, street corners, shelters, door to door, abortion clinics, anywhere lost people can be found. Let’s find out who in our church has what calling, what gifting, and what part of the Body they are, and equip and empower them to perform that calling. That’s the job description Jesus gave you, not just preaching. A pastor/teacher is not someone who lectures well, but who’s students become like Jesus. Christ does not measure us by how well we deliver the Truth on Sunday, but how well we demonstrate it every day of the week. Let’s come down off the mountain and live, work, and minister alongside our people. That’s how they are equipped, by watching you, not merely listening to you. If they are not equipped, it’s probably because they have nothing to watch. Your church can bring a team– If you want testimony and information on how we went about getting people from the pews to the sidewalks at Latrobe abortion clinic, email me, and I’d love to chat with you about our amazing journey. God is faithful!