the weblog of Alan Knox

What pastoring is NOT

Posted by on Apr 5, 2012 in blog links, elders | 15 comments

What pastoring is NOT

Continuing my (unintentional) series on pastoring, I want to link to a new blog site (for me). I noticed this site because of a link to my post “The dangers of ‘pastoring’ hundreds or thousands.”

The post I’m referring to was written by Reuben at “Phoenix Preacher” and is called “Christ is the Head of the Church. Period.

While Reuben’s post focuses on one particular (celebrity) church leader, I would like to point out a more general section where he discusses what pastoring is NOT:

This needs to be clarified by maybe discussing what a pastor is not. A pastor does not lock himself in an office and study for 50 hours a week while “elders and deacons” or simple pew pigeons are out doing the ministry. That is what you call a paid theologian. Case closed. A pastor does not spend his days in the back of a coffee house running up the church credit card while blogging and facebooking all week. A pastor does not take off on 6 month book tours, speaking at every church in the country but his own. These are bloggers, or professional speakers, but not pastors. A pastor does not cut out the kind of crowd he wants swamping the church every Sunday, building prejudice, stereotypes, mockeries, and foul theology to cut people from the herd because of their clothes, weight, or choice of TV shows.

I think there are many activities and examples that could be added to this list, but it’s definitely a good start.

Pastoring is about caring for people – actively caring for and helping people.

(Note: I removed the quotes for “Dan”… who is apparently allergic to them.)


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

  1. 4-5-2012

    I would say all those things fit under “pastoring” but maybe not pastoring. Quit with the quotes man!

  2. 4-5-2012

    I don’t know who this “Dan” is, but he seems like a smart guy. Maybe he should stop using a false name.

  3. 4-5-2012

    Great points made. After I read this, I thought about the pastor I grew up under. He preached every Sunday about the goodness and love of God, then showed it every other day of the week. Congregants and non-church members could call on him for everything from sick or problematic children to broken pipes in their house. One time when my father was stationed overseas, the military messed up his paycheck. The Red Cross wanted to “loan” my mother money for groceries and rent. Our pastor gave us the money. He and his wife made servants of their whole family to the community and the community often responded in kind. He was a “pastor” to anyone who needed pastoring.

    Thanks for this post. I am sure that many pastors and their flocks need to be reminded.

  4. 4-5-2012

    Well said (or “quoted”) Alan!

  5. 4-5-2012


    I’m glad you read Reuben! Very appropriate article!

  6. 4-5-2012

    Thanks for the quote, Alan Knox!

    As is typically the case when I start ranting, I have to look at my post, and cut back about 9/10ths of it. I also wanted to include a diatribe from Ezekiel 34, and Mark 8:32-33.

    The reason why I wanted to key in on Mark 8 was because Jesus rebuked Peter for thinking of himself. Jesus had a way of cutting through the junk and getting to the point quick.

    A pastor is not motivated to teach, preach, counsel, or anything for their own gain. It is to serve the Body of Christ, which is what a shepherd does. It is what Christ did for his disciples, and the disciples go and do likewise.

    It is not rocket science. However, pastoring has evolved into something other-worldly, or just plain worldly.

  7. 4-8-2012


    “Thanks.” 🙂

    Seriously, you’re right. These things are required of many people who have the title “pastor.”


    Thanks for sharing part of your story. There are many people who have the title “pastor” who actually pastor others.

    Kansas Bob,


    Aussie John,

    Yes, I agree!


    Thanks for the great article, and for commenting here.


  8. 4-17-2012

    Thanks for the truthful post! Yep, what today’s culture calls “pastoring” is too big of a job for one man, even if he has staff. All that loving, encouraging, teaching, etc. is the job of everyone of us. Shepherding, however, may be the calling of a few among our brothers and sisters here and there, and is the true definition of pastoring. Those called to it, may do it now and again, but in the fashion of the Lord Jesus–without title or office or pay.

  9. 4-17-2012


    One of my favorite passages about “pastoring” is Hebrews 12:12-15.


  10. 4-29-2012

    One of my favorites on pastoring (from both a negative and positive perspective) is Ezekiel 34.

  11. 4-30-2012


    Interesting! I’ve never looked at Heb. 12:12-15 from a pastoring perspective. Awesome! And look how great it reads in Eugene Peterson’s version:

    “So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

    “Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.”

  12. 4-30-2012


    Yes, that’s a very interesting passage as well.


    That Hebrews passage is about caring for one another physically and spiritually.


  13. 6-7-2012

    You can read some of my thoughts on – the post is titled, Will the Real Pastor Please Stand Up.

  14. 6-10-2012


    Thanks for the link!


  15. 1-1-2013

    What pastoring is NOT–a verb.