the weblog of Alan Knox

You are now the pastor

Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in blog links, service | 9 comments

You are now the pastor

I really appreciate a recent post by Roger at “SimpleChurch Journal” called “Appointed as Senior Pastor: the Best thing that Ever Happened to Me.” You may be thinking that’s a weird quote for someone who publishes a site called “SimpleChurch Journal,” but you’ll understand when you read it.

To begin, Roger recalls a time when he was actually appointed as senior pastor by a church. This appointment changed the way that he thought about himself. He writes:

One of the benefits that occurred when I accepted the role of ‘senior pastor’ is that I was expected to fully engage in ministry. The result was that I challenged myself to overcome my insecurities, doubts, and other lack of faith in order to step fully into my place as a functional minister. I was forced to see myself, as God sees all of us, as one called to “show forth the goodness of God” by exercising spiritual gifts that are “given to all” in order to “do the work of ministry.”

When Roger was appointed as a senior pastor, he realized that God desired for him to use his spiritual gifts to serve others. He realized that in spite of his weaknesses, God could use him in the life of others.

And, now, he understands that God desires the same thing for ALL of his children… not just those who have been appointed as pastors.

Roger writes:

Because I was given this position, I pushed past my insecurities and doubts about who I was and whether or not I was capable and gifted and was forced to accept that I was called to step into ministry functions. So, I just did it.

My concern is that too many times we do NOT push past our insecurities and doubts about who we are in order to step into our role as a minister, a shepherd, an apostle, a teacher, a helper, an evangelist, an encourager, or a prophet. The result is that the world does not see Christ as He is meant to be seen—through every member of His Body fully functioning with confidence in all that we have been called to do.

Of course, one of the reasons that all of us don’t see ourselves as ministers/servants like this is because we see certain people as special ministers/servants (i.e., the “pastors” – or whatever other title we might use for them).

While we all serve in different ways, we are all servants/ministers. We are all “pastors.” If we see ourselves as pastors, then perhaps we will also recognize that we (all of us who follow Jesus) have the privilege and responsibility of serving one another and others in Jesus’ name.


9 Comments

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  1. 4-26-2013

    I retired after 30 years in bi-vocational ministry to enjoy attending church. I had the opportunity to visit around and see how other folks “did church”. I learned a lot. Not only about what they were doing right (and wrong) but about what I had been being doing – right and wrong. It was truly a great learning experience and I was able to hear a variety of preaching and singing – some good and others…well.
    I have now been called back into the ministry and I want to offer this. During my somewhat non-participatory years, I learned a few things but did not really grow in my relationship with God. I have now been back “behind” the pulpit for 4 months and have grown in my own personal discipleship. What I am trying to say is we need to be where God intends us to be…so that He can grow us in the way He wants. It is not always easy but if we listen to Him it is always best.

  2. 4-27-2013

    wow that is really challenging to me. This was so very touching to me.

    Everything is so paradoxical. Be confident in all God has called you to do and be… and never be proud in your own self. Humble yourself and be broken…. and challenge yourself to push past all your insecurities & doubts. Be broken….and be fully who you are called to be.

    I SEE how it all goes together. I SEE it’s possible. I SEE that when I am focusing on the Lord, He will humble me and give me confidence in who I am IN HIM. I SEE that it’s possible to not think about myself so much.

    but the reality is it feels impossible. I am often just thinking of myself too much. Either trying to overcome my doubts, insecurities….. or trying to be humble…. and TRYING just doesn’t work, good grief!

    Every time we look at humility or confidence…. it runs away from us. We can’t grasp those things. Which is so flippin hard for me. I can only surrender & give up & stop trying and focus only on my relationship with Him.

    When I am dependent on Him, and focused on Him and drawing near to Him…… HE will give me confidence in who He has made me to be. I have to let go and stop trying. When I find my value in simply being HIS, I will know that how HE uses me is for His glory and I’m just a tool. I will be use able and humble, both. I have to give up and stop trying.

    But it’s so hard. It’s the daily cross we carry of not DOING what my flesh wants to do. Fix me, fix them, change this, be confident by self help tricks, be proud of how I am used….. self self self.

    It’s so hard to not be able to change myself. or just be more humble by trying. It’s so hard to actually DO nothing but to surrender.

    I am SO THANKFUL that He gave us WORK we CAN do in each day (in my case – giving words of love to others, changing diapers, teaching children His Word, cleaning my house, cooking food, meditating on the Bible, doing and folding laundry) so that I can actually DO something for Him. Because I just need SOMETHING to do.

    sorry, that was an awful lot of venting. But I’m really in the surrender struggle right now. And I thought I surrendered a million times for years and yet I still wrestle with God.

    and about this post specifically…. I have another thought that creeps in. I guess label this as a doubt and insecurity both. My friends who are in the traditional church system with paid pastors who went to seminary and all that…. before we left the business church system, I heard them speak pretty repeatedly about people who are the people we are now and how disrespectful and arrogant it is of those people to not value the amount of school, work and annointing the “pastors” went through by thinking they too can lead, shepherd, encoruage, minister, teach without any of that “work”. And so God still has great work to do in my heart to base my convictions on His Word and not what others think about me. But how can we have unity, when that’s the mindset we are surrounded with?

    am I grumpy today or what?

  3. 4-27-2013

    OH and about the first part I wrote…. THAT is the theme God has been giving me this week. I love how it all ties together what He is teaching.

    But He has just been nailing me all week with what a blessing my to do list is and what a blessing the work I do each day is for ME.

    that I am to be SO THANKFUL for the work HE HAS given me because the WORK He has given me IS a gift!! and it IS my ministry.

    Being a wife, mom, friend and neighbor (which mostly consists of encouraging via text to my mommy friends, cleaning up the same part of the table, floor & highchair 5 times a day, vacuuming, doing dishes, 2 loads of laundry, taxi driving around town, cheering sports, teaching the Bible to 4 and 5 year olds, changing diapers, fixing dinner, grocery shopping, yard work)

    EVERY single one of those things is a gift because it’s SOMETHING I can DO for the Lord. When my hands feel so tied in every other part of my life and I feel like He doesn’t want me to do anything but surrender I am SO thankful I can DO something! And it’s ALL sacred because it’s all for Him. It IS my ministry and it’s beautiful work because I just feel like He is pouring INTO me so much and I want so badly to pass it on and flow it out… and the only thing I can DO is what I can DO. I want to shout out to the world everything HE is showing me and write a book and go speaking across the country….. but I am not called to do that. I am called to do the next thing.. which right now is to go change the laundry over. and I will do it to His glory! and I will praise Him because I can DO SOMETHING. I can let it FLOW OUT into SOMETHING because I feel like I’m about to bust with everything that is in me and needs to get out so that is how I can show God love. I FEEL most days like I can fly myself to heaven I’m so full and overflowing and excited…. but all He wants me to do is DO the work for Him, the work He has called me to do today.

    That’s been the theme of the week for me. That WHATEVER we do for the Lord IS our ministry and it’s sacred. God is using me to show the world around me what my corner of the world looks like redeemed, under Him, the way it was intended to be!

  4. 4-27-2013

    I’m so sorry to hijack your blog as usual

    but I just went and picked up 1000 gifts by Voskamp that I’m reading… this chapter was on the exact same thing I was commenting on!

    It says, “I see how it is our very presence in each other’s lives that makes us the gift…..we become the love of God, blessing those He loves…. I give thanks for the daily mess with a smile because this is my chance to wholeheartedly serve God….an opportunity to become a gift. a gift to God, in how we allow Him to use us to gift others”

    So if I see pastoring as being above, teaching through words all the time, preaching – I am not that. But if I see myself as a pastor by being present in other’s lives. I am that! When I host my Friday ladies group where we read and encourage each other, when we host the Church weekly to come love and build each other up, when I serve my children physically daily and teach them about God’s Love & Word… I am a pastor! I am present. I am serving others. I don’t know if “I’m serving the world with the gifts God has given me” …. but I do know I am serving the small little world right around me and I have to start somewhere!!

  5. 4-28-2013

    Randi ;)

    Very Well Said…

    “I SEE how it all goes together. I SEE it’s possible. I SEE that **when I am focusing on the Lord,*** He will humble me and give me confidence in who I am IN HIM. I SEE that it’s possible to not think about myself so much.”

    Yes – Keep the focus on Jesus – NOT on us…

    I’m blessed today – having listened to your heart…

    Having listened to the Christ in you…

  6. 4-28-2013

    I am so thankful for a place to process… for so many reasons. One of the primary reasons is the fact that if I vent here and process here…. I can be a better listener to those around me and not just talk talk talk.

    So thank you Alan for the place to vent/process/whatever :) and

    Amos – thank you so much for the encouragement. the Lord really used your words in my life today. Thank you!! As I read through Genesis and so many things this past year, I just keep seeing this message of, “look at me, just look at me. keep looking at me. no matter what. look at me. eyes on me. look at me!”….

    I find myself saying that to my children a lot. It is SO hard to get their eyes. I know where my children get it from….

  7. 4-29-2013

    Randi

    Yes – I’m also hearing Jesus saying – “Look at Me.” “Look at Me.”

    1 John 3:2 …we shall be like him; for we shall **see Him** as he is.
    Heb 9:28 … unto them that look for him shall he appear…

    And – I also hear Jesus saying – “Follow Me.” – “Follow Me.”

    Mt 4:19 … “Follow Me,* and I will make you fishers of men.
    Mt 16:24 …let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and “Follow Me.”

    Also love these sayings…
    “When I find my value in simply being HIS…”

    My Sheep – Hear My Voice – **I Know Them** – and – They Follow Me. John 10:27.

    “I have to give up and stop trying.”

    “It’s so hard to not be able to change myself. or just be more humble by trying.
    It’s so hard to actually DO nothing but to surrender.”

    Yes – Heb 4:1-11, We enter into His rest – When we cease from our own works. ;-)

  8. 4-29-2013

    YES!!! :) I believe it!!

  9. 5-1-2013

    I appreciate the comments everyone. Of course, the point here is not to suggest that everyone should do the things that “pastors” do today traditionally. The point is to encourage all of us to see ourselves as servants to those around us.

    -Alan