the weblog of Alan Knox

What should a new pastor do?

Posted by on Nov 18, 2006 in blog links, elders | 2 comments

Before commenting on ETS, I wanted to bring up an issue that was recently introduced by Matthew McDill. Someone asked him the following question: “What should a pastor do during the first year of a new pastorate?”

As Matthew correctly recognizes, this question assumes that a new pastor is also new to a church. However, there is another assumption included in this question: a person should do something different once they are pastor. According to 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1, a person should only be recognized as an elder/overseer if that person is already functioning in a pastoral role. Caring for people and leading as an example are requirements for those who oversee the people of God (Acts 20; 1 Peter 5). If a church recognizes that God is already using one of its members in a pastoral role, then there is nothing new for that person to do. They should continue to live for God as they have been doing.

There is another assumption found in the question. The question assumes that a pastor’s duties include institutional administrative responsibilities. In other words, now that a person is a pastor, he has organizational resposibilities. But, is this assumption scriptural or traditional? Should a church (or pastor) assume that a pastor should administer the organization? I have previously suggested that Scripture does not place administrative responsibilites on the elder. If this is correct then, once again, there is nothing new required of a “pastor.”

What do you think?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 11-20-2006


    Great post! I wholeheartedly agree about the idea of a pastor/elder coming from within the fellowship. I do think that this is the biblical model.

    If we followed this model would we have the pastoral turnover that we have in the SBC today? Would we have pastors who take a smaller church just to work their way up to the big ones? Would we have so many pastors and deacons fighting for power in the church?

    I am sure that the sin nature in us all would still cause some strife, but does the way we go about selecting a pastor set us up to have more problems?

    Oh well, I’ll stop but it has been real encouraging to see that God is using His word to affect the way we think about church. These things just aren’t happening in my life, but it appears that this is happening in yours and Matthew McDill’s as well.

    I am excited about what God is doing.

    Through Christ,

  2. 11-20-2006

    Thank you for your comment. While selecting leaders from within the church (instead of from without) would certainly help the situation in many churches, I think you are correct that our sinfulness would continue to raise its head in other ways. I also think that shared leadership would help in that area. Anyway, I certainly don’t have everything figured out. But by God’s grace I’m learning along with many others.
    – Alan


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