Over the last few days, I’ve written several posts related to pastoring, pastors, and “pastors.” By pastoring, I’m referring to caring for God’s people, helping them, serving them, sharing your life with them. By pastors, I’m referring to people who spend time pastoring others. By “pastors,” I’m referring to people who have been given (or who have assumed) a certain title in a church organization.
(By the way, some “pastors” are pastors. Some pastors are not “pastors.” Are you confused yet? I hope not.)
Some of the posts this week were planned – posts such as this one, and “The dangers of ‘pastoring’ hundreds or thousands,” and “A little about my pastors.” Some of the posts this week were unplanned – that is, they were links to posts that I’ve read recently that happened to touch on the same subject, such as “But he has an MDiv and ordination papers,” and “What pastoring is NOT.”
So, why have I spent this week writing about pastoring, pastors, and “pastors”? Am I angry about church leadership? Do I have a grudge against people with the title “pastor”?
No, I’m not angry, and no, I don’t have a grudge against anyone with the title “pastor.” Some of my good friends have been given the title “pastor.”
So, why have I spent this week writing about pastoring, pastors,and “pastors”?
I care about the church, and I love to see God people grow and mature in their faith in God, in unity with one another, and in their walk with Jesus Christ. From my experience, the different between someone who pastors others and someone with the title “pastor” often causes problems in Jesus’ church – problems that hinder the kind of growth and maturity that I mentioned earlier.
So, I wrote these posts for two audiences:
1) I wrote these posts for those who have been given or who have assumed the title “pastor.” You have the title, but do you actually spend time caring for and serving other people? I know your initial answer is, “Yes.” But, I’m asking you to look deep down, into your own life and into the lives of those around you. If you do not know them well enough to look into their lives, then you are probably not pastoring them. Start caring for God’s people – even if it means that you can’t do the things that people expect from a “pastor.”
2) I also wrote these posts for those who do not have the title “pastor.” Guess what? You are still called by God to pastor others. God desires all of his children to spend time with one another, to share their lives with one another, and to help one another grow in maturity in Jesus Christ. This is pastoring, and God will do this work through you if you will allow it. Do not wait on people with titles to start caring for others. Start caring for God’s people now.
It really is that simple. Oh, it won’t be easy, and you will probably face opposition – even from those who should be your friends.
But, start pastoring God’s people anyway. Then, watch in amazement what God does through you. The people are his flock anyway. He wants to work through you (and others) to care for them. Give him the opportunity.