Leadership Empowerment School of Ministry
Empowering Those who Empower Others with a Knowledge of God and His Ways
Part 1: Pastoral Care
What is a Pastor?
Being a pastor is a difficult but rewarding calling. The Lord has entrusted you with His people, and you are called upon to care for them in many different ways. Your work may involve preaching, counseling, praying for people, doing administrative work, making difficult decisions, financial management, and so many other things. However, in all this, the supreme work you have been given to do is to be a vessel of God's love and power to His people.
Words used in the Bible to describe a Pastor
Poimeen: This word literally means a shepherd. Like the shepherd, pastors take care of the needs of their people (See Ps 23). Pastors know their people and lead them. This word is used only once to refer to a position in the Church (Eph 4:11). Sometimes it is translated as 'feed' or 'care for.' (John 21:16; Act 20:28; 1 Pe 5:2).
Presbuteros: Used in the New Testament to describe a pastor's wisdom and maturity. The term shows that they are not new believers, but have proven themselves as mature leaders. This is the most common title used for pastors in the Bible.
Episkopos: Describes someone who "sees over." In fact, this word is sometimes translated as 'overseer.' Pastors have been given oversight and leadership of the local church by God.
A. diakonos: one who serves -- Mat 20:26; 2 Cor 6:4; Col 1:23
B. litourgos: public worker -- Rom 13:6; Rom 15:16; Heb 8:2
C. huperetos: servant, helper, or assistant. Act 26:12-16
The words pastor, elder, and bishop (or overseer) all refer to the same position in the New Testament
· Titus 1:5-7: elder is used interchangeably with bishop
· 1 Pe 5:1-2: elders are told to pastor God's flock.
· Acts 20:17-31: Paul tells the elders that the Holy Spirit has made. . them bishops, and that they need to pastor the church of God
Today we generally refer to the person described by these words as a pastor. It is important to understand that when the New Testament uses these words, it is referring to this position of leadership in the church. The word minister can include a pastor, but is a more general term for those who serve God. Each of these words convey one part of the overall description of today's pastor.
- Pastor shows the heart of the person.
- Elder shows the wisdom and maturity of the person.
- Bishop shows the leadership of the person.
- Minister shows that the person is willing to work as a. . servant to the Lord and to others.
A pastor's cry is like that of the Apostle Paul's:
"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us" -- 1 Thess 2:8.
Personal Attributes of a Pastor
1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9
A. Have the desire to be a pastor/overseer (1 Tim 3:1)
B. Above reproach -- have a good reputation in the church and in the community (1 Tim 3:2, 3:7)
C. Husband of one wife -- sex life is under control (1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:6)
D. Temperate and self-controlled -- their appetites are under control (1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:8)
E. Respectable -- positive member of the local community
F. Hospitable -- welcome people into their home and life
(1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:8)
G. Able to teach (1 Tim 3:2)
H. Not given to drunkenness (1 Tim 3:3; Tit 1:7)
I. Not quick-tempered or given to violence or quarreling -- their anger is under control (1 Tim 3:3; Tit 1:7)
J. Not lovers of money -- their desire for material things is under control (1 Tim 3:3)
K. Do not pursue dishonest gain (Tit 1:7)
L. Not a new convert (1 Tim 3:6)
M. Love what is good and are just (Tit 1:8)
O. Believe correct doctrine and can defend it (Tit 1:9)
Paul also describes pastors as having God at work in their family life:
P. Manage their household well -- lead their families spiritually as they lead the church (1 Tim 3:4-5)
Q. Children are disciplined and respectful (1 Tim 3:4-5; Tit 1:6)
R. Holy (Tit 1:8)
*This passage shows that pastors' lives are completely under God's control. This includes not only their own personal lives, but also their family life. Only when a pastor turns over control of his most precious possession (his own life and family) to God, will God entrust him with His most precious possession (the church).
Note: These are the qualities you should look for in appointing church leaders. However, sometimes you must choose people who do not perfectly meet all these qualifications. In those cases, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and appoint who He chooses. It will be necessary to continue to work with them and develop them until they come to greater maturity in their lives and ministry. Remember that Jesus chose His disciples to be leaders when they did not meet most of these qualifications. These were qualities that they "grew into." Leadership is learned: it comes with maturity.
Biblical Instruction to Pastors
1. Acts 20:28-35
In this passage, Paul is making his farewell statement to the leaders of the church at Ephesus. His statement provides us an excellent biblical example of what a pastor's job includes.
A. A pastor must keep watch over himself (20:28a).
1. His motives must remain pure. Paul illustrated this in his ministry. He did not enter his ministry for the money, nor did he covet anyone's wealth. His motive for ministry was to serve God by serving God's church.
2. Pastors must also take concern for their own spiritual life. Paul said, "I beat my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others I, myself, will not be disqualified for the prize" (1 Cor 9:27). This describes Paul's spiritual discipline. It takes time and effort to maintain a life-giving spiritual relationship with God. Ministry is simply an overflow of that relationship.
3. Caring for oneself also includes physical care. Good ministry requires much physical and mental work. For this reason, ministers must take good care of their bodies. Physical and emotional burnout has been the downfall of many ministries.
B. A pastor must keep watch over all the flock (20:28b).
Paul urges them to watch over all of the flock, not just some of them. Why? Simply because every person that God has placed under a pastor's care is important. In the body, if one body part is in pain, all of the body suffers. So it is with the church. When one suffers or rejoices, all are affected.
C. Guard against false teaching (20:29-31)
One of the primary responsibilities of church leaders is to guard the flock against the evil plans of the enemy. This often takes the form of some kind of false teaching. This was a serious concern to Jesus and all the apostles.
1. Mt 7:15-20; Mt 16:5-12
2. Gal 1:6-9
3. 2 Pet 2:1-3
4. 1 Jn 2:18-27; 2 Jn 7-11
5. Jude 3-4, 12-21
D. Commit them to God (20:32)
· What are some false teachings that threaten the church in your area?
· How do these false teachings spread?
· How can you protect your congregations from this danger?
2. 2 Timothy 4:1-8
A. The pastor must preach the word (4:2).
1. Scripture should be the focus of their preaching.
2. The preacher must be ready to preach "in season and out of season."
He must always be prepared to share the word of God at any time he is given the opportunity. He should use his preaching of the Bible to correct the flock as they stray, rebuke them as they turn away from the truth, and encourage them in their walks with the Lord. Paul notes that the pastor should also use the Word of God to instruct their flock. This requires great patience. Many of those we lead have been lost much longer than they have been saved. Careful teaching from Scripture will aid them as they come to be like Jesus.
B. The pastor needs to be sober (4:5).
The Bible is saying that pastors should be wise and careful in their actions. They should be clear-headed.
C. The pastor must be prepared to endure hardships (4:5).
Hardships and suffering are a part of life in this fallen world. They are even more a part of life for the pastor. Not only must the pastor endure normal hardships concerning daily life, they must also contend with satanic attacks against their ministry and family. Be encouraged, however, that enduring hardships produces maturity in ministry. Trusting in God will allow the pastor to endure.
D. The pastor must do the work of an evangelist (4:5).
There are certain people who God has entrusted with the ministry and giftings of evangelists. But these are not the only ones called to evangelize. Here, Paul specifically tells pastors, that although they might not be "evangelists," they are to preach the Gospel to unbelievers.
E. The pastor should fulfill his ministry (4:5).
Paul told Timothy not to neglect any part of his ministry, but to fulfill all of it. There are some things about being a pastor that you will enjoy and feel like you are good at doing. There are other duties that you will not like at all, and you may feel like you do not know how to do them very well. You are charged to fulfill all of your ministry.
F. The pastor will be judged by the Lord (4:8).
Of course, every person will one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ. They will either receive eternal reward or punishment. But ministers will also be judged on how they have ministered to Christ's body (see 1 Cor 3:10-15). Paul was writing to Timothy shortly before his execution. In verse seven, he makes it clear that he felt he had ministered well and would be rewarded for it. Our goal as pastors should be to be able to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be able to say with the Apostle Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."
3. 1 Peter 5:1-4
This passage describes three false motivations for ministry that are very common in the church. It also gives the attitudes that we should cultivate in order to keep our ministries pure and true.
A. Do not pastor because you must, but be willing (5:1-2)
Too many pastors are not willing shepherds of their flocks. They go about their work complaining, and people become a bother for them. If you see people as interruptions rather than as the real focus of your ministry, you should ask yourself why you are doing it. God wants you to pastor, but not because someone forces you to, or because there is nobody else, or because you are trying to earn His favor. He wants you to do it from a willing and cheerful heart.
B. Do not be greedy for money, but be eager to serve (5:2)
Pastors are often tempted to love money too much. This can be true whether the pastor has a lot of money or is very poor. In either case, if the motivation of ministry becomes money, there is need for repentance. The cure for this false motive is to develop the attitude of a servant. We will say more about this important description of ministry later. For now simply know that we are not to minister to others for what they can give to us, and being their servant helps to make sure we are leading with a more pure motive.
C. Do not be a tyrant or dictator, but an example (5:3)
Some people become pastors because they like to control people. They like to be able to tell them what to do and how to live. However, Peter tells us that instead of this we are to lead by example. Do not depend on being able to command people to godliness – instead you must demonstrate how to live a godly life in the midst of temptations and difficulties.
4. Col 1:24-29
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
In this passage Paul lets us know the highest goal of pastoring, and the reason we do it. This is such a high ambition that Paul was willing to go to any means to bring it about. It is simply the maturing or perfecting of God's people. See also Eph 4:13. We are called to pastor people in order to help them to become more like Jesus. All of your activities and ministries as a pastor should be working towards this one great goal. Take the time to determine why you do the various things you do in ministry, and see if they are moving you towards this goal. If a particular activity is not helping people to become more like Jesus, perhaps you should consider stopping it.
The purpose of pastoring:
To present people perfect in Christ
A. It is often necessary to suffer for the sake of helping people (24)
The sacrifice that Jesus made was enough -- but the message of what He has done still needs to be delivered. Sometimes in order to get that message to people we must suffer. In order to 'present everyone perfect in Christ' we will need to make difficult personal sacrifices.
· Do you think it is necessary for people to suffer in doing God's work?
· Have you suffered any in God's work? What kind of suffering? Read Rom 8:28. Can you see any good that God worked through your suffering?
· What other types of suffering might people have to endure in order to do God's work?
· What should our attitude be when we are going through hard times in God's work?
B. Become a servant of the Church (25)
We are called not only to be servants of the Lord, but also of His people. This means we are to honor them, and seek their good. We are to lower ourselves in order to lift them.
C. Present the Word of God in its fullness (25)
We are responsible to feed our congregations with the whole Bible. This requires a commitment to study and to learn difficult passages. It also requires boldness to preach what people may not want to hear.
D. Proclaim Jesus (28)
Be determined to keep your ministry and your message centered on the person of Jesus Christ.
E. Admonish and teach with all wisdom (28)
This wisdom is given by God to enable you to do His work. We are to be confident that He has supplied us with all we need to accomplish our calling.
F. Work hard (29)
Being a pastor is very demanding. In fact, it requires more than any person has to offer. So we must rely on the strength and the energy of God. Paul knew that this energy was powerfully at work in him. It is also there for us. We need to learn how to draw upon it.
Action Steps: Write down two or three specific things you are going to do in your ministry as a result of the teaching so far:
What Does a Pastor Do?
Describe the work of a pastor. What is he supposed to do? Make a list of as many things as you can think of:
It was He [Christ] who gave some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. -- Eph 4:11-13.
1. Eph 4:11-13
A. A pastor must prepare others for ministry.
All of God's people are called to be ministers of the Gospel in one way or another -- but this does not come automatically. They need to be motivated and trained and encouraged.
B. So that the body may be built up.
The pastor's goal is always to edify the body. This can involve confrontation and rebuke, but all for the purpose of building up.
C. To reach unity in the faith.
Knowing the heart of God, the pastor is concerned that there be no divisions and strife in the church. See 1 Cor 1:10-13; 3:1-22. He is to work for unity both within his local congregation, and within the body of Christ at large (between different churches).
D. And become mature.
As already mentioned, bringing people to maturity is the supreme purpose of pastoring. It is accomplished as we prepare others for ministry and build up the body. This maturity includes reaching unity in the body of Christ.
2. Ezekiel 34:2-6
Sometimes, the best example of something is a negative example. What is the mark of a bad shepherd? Ezekiel describes it as selfishness. The sign of a selfish pastor is when he takes care of himself before taking care of others. His motto is "Me first." He argues, "I deserve the best because I am following God." Because of his greed, he neglects the flock of God. Rather than serving God's people, he uses them for his own purposes. He treats God's people like they were his own rather than God's.
In contrast to this, good shepherds give of themselves for the sake of God's flock. Read 1 Thess 2:3-12. Paul ministered to the Thessalonian church tirelessly. He faced much toil and hardship working "night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone." Paul put others first, and is an excellent example of a good shepherd. Let us now turn to the tasks of a good shepherd from Ezekiel 34:2-5.
A. Strengthen the Weak
The prophet is not referring here only to those who are physically weak, although they may certainly be included. He is speaking of the same people Paul mentions when he said "Help the weak." (1 Thess 5:14). Who are the weak that a good shepherd is supposed to strengthen?
1. The spiritually weak. These are the ones who do not know how to face and defeat their spiritual enemy. They may be filled with anger, bitterness, depression, anxiety, worry, or stress. Pastors must not only overcome these enemies of the soul in their own life, but must also train their flock to overcome them. He must provide training in the spiritual disciplines.
2. The morally weak. These are the ones who struggle with sexual immorality, anger, stealing, lying, drunkenness, and any form of sinful desire. The pastor can tell them to stop, but this is a rather weak command. The good shepherd must show the flock how to overcome these evil desires. This means pastors must teach them how they overcome their own desires. Specifically, one cannot afford to neglect teaching on sexual matters.
3. The relationally weak. These are the ones who are struggling in their marriages and relationships. Pastors must commit themselves to teaching that will strengthen the marriages and families in their congregation.
4. Others. There are others who are weak in congregations. In fact, everyone is weak in some areas of their lives. This can include physical weakness, those experiencing material or financial problems, illiteracy, and many others.
B. Heal the Sick
1. Jesus commanded in Matthew 10:8, "Heal the sick."
2. Some people have the special gift of healing (1 Cor 12:9). If there are such people in your church, make use of them.
3. All Christians (especially elders/pastors) should pray for God's healing. See James 5:14-16.
a. Believers must confess their sins openly to one another (5:16). This is especially humbling for the pastor, but it is necessary.
b. Christians must be righteous in their character (5:16). This goes much deeper than simply being a good person. Rather, a righteous person is someone who has the fear of the Lord present in their lives.
c. One must pray for God's healing in faith (5:16). Believe that God can heal, He does heal, and desires that we be healed. Here are some pointers in praying for someone's healing.
1) Find out specifically what is wrong. Do this by talking to the person and seeking to discover the nature of their illness. At the same time, listen to God for direction. The problem may be physical, but there may also be spiritual problems that should be dealt with first.
2) Pray quietly at first as you seek direction in how to pray for the person (you may want to pray in the Spirit). As you pray, always seek to be in agreement with God in your prayers. (I often pray Bible verses which describe God's love and healing power). God is the one who heals, so let him do it.
3) Evaluate what is happening. Ask questions. Look for the effects of the Spirit's ministry on the person for whom you are praying. You may receive further direction at this point.
4) Advise direction. After praying for the sick person, there may be pastoral advice you should give. If there is sin in that person's life, encourage him to repent of it. If they need further help, direct them to those who may be able to provide it. Encourage the person. God does not always heal at once. The person may have to wait for their healing. If this is the case, the sick person will most certainly need some words to encourage and strengthen them. Finally, direct them to some Scripture passages on God's love, His healing, or faith which will help them as they wait.
C. Bind up the Injured
Someone that is spiritually injured is someone who is broken. This may have to do with a crisis or tragedy in their life, or an inner struggle for peace, or other things. Even the spiritually strong have times when they become injured. If one is to be a good shepherd, one must know their flock well enough to notice when someone in the congregation is hurting. A pastor should listen to them, counsel them, and encourage them. The pastor should find the hurt and let God bring healing to them.
D. Bring Back the Strays
1. A stray is someone who has wandered off into sin. Sometimes strays are not outwardly noticeable. They may still attend church regularly or may even serve in leadership roles. At other times, strays may be very noticeable, displaying their sin for all to see. Sometimes their guilt or the condemnation of believers drives them away from church completely.
2. The task of a good shepherd is to bring the stray back into the fold. This means to aggressively search for the lost one (Luke 15:1-7). He may only require some kind words and the knowledge that he is loved to return.
3. There may be need for discipline. Mat 18:15-17 gives several principles for church discipline.
a. reprove him in private
b. if he does not accept the pastor's counsel, the pastor should take two or three witnesses and reprove him again
c. if he still will not heed the warnings, the pastor should reprove him in front of the church or a group of leaders
d. if he will not listen, he should be removed from the church
4. Paul followed this in 1 Cor 5:13. He says that the purpose of removing such a sinner from the church protects the body from his sin (5:6), but also is for the man's own good. Once he is outside of the church, he will hopefully repent and return. The goal of church discipline is not punishment, the goal of church discipline is to bring back Christians gone astray.
5. Why is this important? Just like a sheep that leaves the fold, a stray Christian may feed on poisonous food (false doctrine). They also lose the protection found within the community of faith and become prey for wild beasts. Satan will assuredly attack the stray. Therefore, the good pastor will take action to bring him back. It is truly a matter of life and death.
E. Search for the Lost
1. Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist.
As a pastor, it is easy to get caught up in the "work of the church." But if the church's work is carrying on the ministry of Christ, then evangelism is the work of the church.
2. How do pastors make evangelism an important part of their ministry?
a. They must commit to spend time on evangelism - they must make it a priority.
b. They must develop relationships with people outside of the church. Pastors should get to know sinners and enjoy them. Good pastors become friends with them. Some of Jesus' most effective evangelistic encounters were with those people the religious community of His day would have nothing to do with.
c. Pastors take a leader's role in evangelism. They preach about it, talk about it, and they are a good example to others in their congregation.
d. They must train their congregations in how to be witnesses for Jesus. This should include an emphasis in living powerful, holy lives as well as how to share the Gospel with people.
e. If pastors accomplish the first four tasks of a good shepherd described above, evangelism will flow more easily from their ministry. As pastors heal the sick, bind the wounded, bring back the strays, and strengthen the weak, they will more likely be effective evangelists.
Think about your own pastoral ministry. How does what you have been doing compare with what we have studied so far?
1. Write down areas the Lord is showing you that you need to improve.
2. Write down ways you can improve in the ministry of helping others to. become more like Jesus.
Pray about your pastoral ministry. Ask the Lord to equip and anoint you more and more for this task. Pray about how you help people to become more like Jesus. Pray alone or in small groups.
Part 2: Leadership
A. Biblical Model of Leadership
"I am among you as one who serves." -- Lk 22:27
1. Humility and Servanthood
A. What is humility?
Humility is always being aware that apart from God we are nothing and can do nothing good. It is complete dependence upon God.
B. We have value as people because of God. We are valuable because
1. God created us
2. Jesus died for us
3. The Holy Spirit lives in us
C. Humility is the root of all virtues; all goodness
All other virtues depend on this one. It is only God who works these good things into our lives. It is the Spirit who makes us joyful, loving and at peace; who helps us to be kind, good and faithful. He does this only when we recognize that we cannot, and that we need Him. This is true humility.
D. In the same way, pride is the root of all evil and sin
Pride comes when we fail to recognize how much we need God. That is the beginning point for sin.
E. The need for humility
There is no greater need in Christian leadership today than that of true humility. All other principles of leadership and all striving to be good leaders is completely useless without this grace of humility.
2. Humility in the life of Jesus:
Consider some of the ways Jesus described His own life and ministry. Though He is the Son of God, He is also the perfect example of humility.
A. "I assure you, the Son can do nothing by himself" – Jn 5:19
B. "But I do nothing without consulting the Father" – Jn 5:30
C. "For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do what I want" – Jn 6:38
D. "I am not seeking glory for myself." – Jn 8:50
E. "My words are not my own." – Jn 14:24
3. Humility in the teaching of Jesus
Jesus' teaching on leadership was completely opposite of the worldly way. In the church, we often copy the leadership style
from the world. But we are to be different. Jesus' revolutionary teaching and demonstration of true leadership should be our foundation for any teaching on the subject.
A. Mat 5:3-4
God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of God is given to them.
B. Mat 18:1-4 & Luk 9:46-48
The disciples wanted to be the greatest, but Jesus showed them that things in the Kingdom of God are very different than things in the world. In order to become great, you have to make yourself the least. Not just less than the people you respect, but less than all.
C. Luk 14:7-11
Do not allow yourself to think that you deserve to be honored. Once you begin thinking that people should treat you in a special way, know that this is pride. Jesus says, "For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored." (v 11)
D. Luke 18:9-14
1. At its root, pride is thinking that we can do things without God. Of course, as a good mulokole you would never think such a thought in those words, but sometimes we do develop such an attitude without realizing it. Pride causes people to be "confident of their own righteousness" (v 9). When you begin to feel that you are good because of the good things you do, this is pride.
2. Pride is also comparing yourself to someone else, and coming to the conclusion that you are better than them.
E. Mat 20:20-27
The mother of James and John wanted her sons to be the greatest in God's kingdom. Jesus uses the opportunity to again teach us about humility:
"You know that in this world kings and tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave." (20: 25-26)
4. Humility in the Epistles
A. Read and meditate on the following verses. With each one, ask yourself if this describes your life.
Rom 12:10: Honor one another above yourselves
Rom 12:16: Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low reputation. Do not be conceited.
1 Cor 13:4: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Gal 5:13: Serve each other with love.
Eph 4:2: Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love.
Col 3:12: Show mercy to others, be kind, humble, gentle, and patient.
Tit 3:2: Show true humility to all men
Jam 4:10: Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
1 Pet 5:5: Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
B. Phil 2:1-11
1. This passage tells us to be like Jesus in His humility. Though He was God, he did not insist on all the rights and privileges of His position. Instead, He lowered Himself to become a simple man. Do you grasp hold of position, honor, popularity, etc, or do you freely give it up?
2. Paul also tells us to "consider others better than yourselves." Instead of comparing yourself with others and becoming proud, you are to look for ways in which they are better than you, and so honor them.
5. Principles of Humility
A. Pride (the absence of humility) is very natural to man
In our nature as descendents of Adam we are proud. Adam was infected with the sin of Satan, which was pride. This pride is also a part of us. Even when someone gets saved, it is not easy for that person to overcome it.
B. Pride is hidden
Even though we often see pride in other people, we usually cannot recognize it in our own life. However, if we ask Him, the Holy Spirit will reveal it to us (see Ps 139:23-24).
C. How to defeat pride and develop humility
1. Know that you yourself are guilty. Even though you live a good life and are involved in wonderful ministry, pride is an enemy that you also must defeat.
2. No amount of teaching or warnings can make someone humble. Look at the disciples of Jesus. Even after all of His teaching and His own example, at the last supper they were still arguing about which of them was the greatest (Lk 22:24). Teaching and preaching can create in us a hunger and desire for humility, but it cannot do more than that.
3. It is only the life of the humble Jesus living within us through the Holy Spirit that can make us humble. It was not until the day of Pentecost that the disciples finally began to live lives of true humility.
4. Remind yourself continually of your need to empty yourself of self, and to be filled anew with the Holy Spirit.
D. Humility toward God must be expressed in humility towards people.
It is very easy for us to say that we are humbling ourselves before God. We know that He is much greater than us. However, we are not truly humble until we can see it expressed in the way we relate to other people. Jesus' humility before God led Him to serve people. Consider all the scriptures given earlier which relate to humbling ourselves before people, or serving people.
E. A healthy spiritual life is dependent on humility. Healthy spiritual leadership is also dependent on humility.
4. Washing the Disciples' Feet: Jn 13:1-17
In all that Jesus taught His disciples concerning leadership and servanthood, nothing could have left a stronger impression than this demonstration. Jesus showed us what it means to make ourselves the least, to become the servant of all. In spite of all of Jesus' previous teachings about servanthood and humility, none of the disciples were willing to take the least place. Jesus Himself took it, and in so doing redefined greatness for all time.
Pray individually about this issue of humility. Confess the sin of pride to the Lord, and ask for His help in overcoming it. Call out to Him to help you become more humble.
Jesus knew something about a leader's role which is important for church leaders to learn today. A good leader (like Christ) will work with others and develop leadership skills in them. One of the key roles of a leader is to build up other leaders. This ministry takes time and energy. How does a leader "build" other leaders? The following points may help one to understand this ministry.
1. Begin with the Person, not the Task
There is a danger in asking people to fill leadership roles by simply realizing all of the work that needs to be done and just assigning tasks to them. When this is done, people are viewed and treated more like machines than people. The concern is not the development of the individual as much as it is getting the job done It is important to see these people as servants of God who have been filled by the Holy Spirit for service, not as machines.
When leaders work with their people in this manner, they will notice that the quality and faithfulness of the worker increases dramatically. They will feel cared for. They will feel like they are part of a team. Their personal growth will also increase. Remember, one of the duties of a leader is to see the people around them grow spiritually. People who are overworked by their leaders or who are not cared for by their leaders often find themselves becoming spiritually dry, even though they are working hard for the Kingdom of God. A good leader cares for the spiritual life of his workers. He does not only care about what they can do for him.
It is critical when developing other leaders in the congregation to give them responsibility for ministry. Through this responsibility and the pastor's guidance, they will grow into effective leaders themselves. Below are seven steps to help the pastor delegate ministry responsibility to the people.
A. Identify the Ministry
What is the focus of the ministry in which the person will be involved? What type of people will they be serving? Identify the type of ministry in general.
B. Identify the Person
Before examining the specific tasks and objectives, identify the person who will be serving (remember, they are not your tool). As they are ministers in their own right, filled with the Spirit, they must be included in the process of establishing the ministry.
C. Set the Purpose
In discussing the ministry with this person, make sure that they understand the purpose of this ministry. Many times, people are taught how to do something without ever really knowing WHY they are doing it. Workers need to know why they are serving in ministry. This will help motivate them to be more faithful. They will catch the vision, and it will become their ministry.
D. Set the Goals
Once the purpose has been established, begin to establish specific goals to be achieved. Make sure the worker knows what they are trying to accomplish. It is important to include them in any goal-setting discussions. This is a ministry in which they will work hard and for which they have a great passion. They must have certain goals which can contribute greatly to the ministry. This also helps create a sense of ownership for the worker.
E. Set the Procedures
After setting the goals of this ministry, establish the procedures which the worker may use to meet this challenge. How will they reach the goals set? What is the time frame in which they will be working? What resources are available to help them, and how can they get these resources? These are the types of questions which need to be addressed when setting specific procedures.
F. Set Accountability
Delegation is not just passing work off to someone else. It is working with them as they work. Part of delegation must include setting accountability. This means establishing guidelines for evaluating their ministry. An example of setting accountability may be setting a meeting every other week to discuss the worker's progress in their ministry. Accountability allows the pastor to be involved in their ministry and helps them remain steadfast.
G. Follow-up on their Work
Delegating work will demand the pastor's ongoing involvement. The pastor has a responsibility to work with these people as they serve. They will run into problems, and they will make mistakes. They will certainly have questions. A strong leader needs to be present to help them through these situations; not to do the work for them, but to assure them that their pastor is available to guide them. As a final note, the Bible promises that God will bless those who are faithful to Him. As workers are faithful to the Lord in their service, remember that God may bless and expand their field of ministry. One should not limit what God may be doing in their life. They should be given freedom to grow in their ministry, even if their ministry outgrows you as the pastor.
3. Turn Failures into Learning Experiences
The greatest challenge to leaders is to continue to be faithful to their workers when they fail. Workers will fail. One must accept that reality and be prepared to deal with it. When a worker fails, the leader has two choices. They may reject the worker or they can turn the failure into a learning experience for their worker.
Remember, failure is an event, not a destiny. A worker's failure should not be treated as if it is their destiny. Use it to teach them. Their failure will be hard on them. Avoid being harsh or critical, this is a time when they need support and reassurance.
4. A Leader Will Minister to Those he Leads
A. People need to have a sense of ownership in the ministry.
A pastor can give workers a sense of ownership by allowing them to be involved in the decision making process of the ministry. Ask their opinions on certain issues. Let them feel free to speak their mind on ministry related topics. This will allow them to feel that they are contributing to that work of the ministry.
B. They need support and encouragement.
Workers are often insecure about their ministry. They wonder if they are doing a good job. Since they desire to please their leader, they also need support and encouragement from the leader. It is important that the pastor gives them this support, especially during difficult and trying times. When they make mistakes or receive criticism, a strong leader will stand behind them.
C. They need to grow spiritually.
More than anything else, the workers need to grow spiritually. Ministry can either cause one to mature in the Lord or move them away from God. The pastor plays a critical role in their spiritual growth. The pastor's leadership in delegating work for them can make the difference. If too much responsibility is given to a new believer, for instance, it may overwhelm them. If not enough responsibility is given to another worker, it may restrict what the Holy Spirit wants to do in them. Leaders must evaluate their worker's spiritual life and place them into the ministry in such a way that will enhance their faith and devotion to God.
5. Remember that You are a Role Model
What is done in daily life will speak louder than what is said. People are watching leaders everyday. A leader should live their ministry through their activity. Power is given to pastors' ministry by the life they lead. This greatly enhances their efforts in helping develop leaders for the Kingdom of God.
Difficulties of Pastoral Leadership
One major part of ministry is that the minister must be able to work with others, and any time people are called to work together there will be conflict. The purpose of this section is to discuss how to resolve conflict in leadership and ministry.
1. The Causes of Conflict
A. Not practicing biblical principles.
When God's people do not follow God's biblical guidelines for life and ministry they will find themselves in the midst of conflict. Not following biblical instruction gives the enemy an opportunity to sow confusion and chaos.
B. When forgiveness (Matthew 18) is not manifested.
When people do not forgive, grudges and bitterness grow. People become more and more angry with one another and the conflict, rather than being handled quickly, is drawn out over a longer period of time. The conflict is an indicator of deep feelings that have not been resolved between two parties, and therefore should be handled as quickly as possible.
C. When leaders ignore small problems.
When small problems are ignored, or when leaders refuse to confront people in certain situations, conflicts arise. It is very seldom that a problem simply goes away. Many major conflicts were at one time small issues that could have been dealt with and resolved quite easily. But due to lack of attention, the small problem becomes a very big conflict that is far more difficult to deal with.
D. When leaders become "bosses."
Many conflicts can be traced to personality differences when a leader decides to rule as an authoritarian rather than the leader of a team. Workers feel used by the leader and conflicts arise from hurt feelings rather than real issues. However, hurt feelings can be as destructive to ministry and spiritual growth as real issues can.
2. How to Approach Conflict
A. Admit the conflict exists.
B. Find out what the true issues in the conflict are. Is it a personality conflict? Is it because of jealousy or competition? Is there a difference in doctrine?...
C. As the leader, do not take sides in the conflict.
People will try to get you to support them against someone else. Do not allow this to happen. You want to bring reconciliation between the two people, and you cannot do so if one of them sees that you are also against him.
D. Pray through until you find a resolution. Discuss this with everyone involved.
E. Follow up on the resolution.
No conflict can be resolved simply through one meeting. Hurt feelings do not go away easily. It is a leader's responsibility to maintain ongoing contact with these people to make sure that the resolution is truly taking place.
F. Show that loving is more important than being right
-- Rom 14-15
For the sake of the body of Christ, someone should accept being wronged rather than causing strife and division. See 1 Cor 6:7.
G. Encourage repentance and forgiveness
Open and honest communication is essential in resolving conflicts. Learn to express yourself in a manner that does not seem like an attack to the other person. Also, learn to listen, and ask appropriate questions.
1. Symptoms of Poor Time Management
A. You forget things you are supposed to do
B. Takes more energy to accomplish less things
C. Quality of personal relationships gets less
D. Does not have enough time to accomplish everything
The overall result of poor time management is a life of frustration as there simply does not seem to be enough time to do all of the necessary things. This almost always results in physical fatigue. Someone who does not manage time well may feel that other people control their time -- that their time is not their own.
2. Time Robbers
A. Poor planning
B. Ongoing interruptions
C. Lack of delegation of work to others
D. Not setting priorities
E. Too many ongoing activities
Think about the time robbers in your life and ministry. See if you need to make changes in order to make your time management more effective.
3. Principles for Effective Time Management
A. Think about time management.
This first principle simply means that one should be aware of how they spend their time. Are you using your time effectively? Do you plan out your time? Effective time management begins with an awareness of one's time and how one manages it.
B. Recognize the important and urgent things.
Many leaders manage their time by those things which are urgent. Their priorities are based upon what needs to be done by the earliest deadline. When this occurs, they find themselves taking the things that are important (but not urgent) and putting them off until a later date. Unfortunately, that later date sometimes never arrives. Some leaders are so busy with the urgent ministry matters that they never take the time for important things. Important items include:
1. spending time with the Lord
2. enjoying family
3. spending time envisioning ministry in the future
4. investing in relationships
5. developing people and ministers
C. Prioritize your time.
Read Mark 1:37-38. In this passage, Jesus actually left people who wanted Him to come and minister to them. He made a decision based upon His priorities of ministry. Leaders should follow the model of Jesus and make their time decisions based upon their priorities.
What these priorities are will come from the Bible and the minister's personal mission. God has called each pastor to a specific mission. A pastor is not expected to do everything, nor can they do everything. Pastors must examine their life and ministry and make priority decisions regarding what they will and will not do. When a pastor does not prioritize his time, someone or something else will do it for him.
D. Plan ahead.
A good leader does not let circumstances control him or his ministry. Many pastors find it helpful to plan each week before it comes. What are the meetings to be scheduled? How long will they take? What other things need to be accomplished? When is the best time to do them? What deadlines are there?
A leader will make sure that when they plan, they leave some flexibility as things never seem to go exactly as planned. They also make sure to incorporate family and personal time into their weekly schedule so that their life may be balanced.
Most leaders attempt to do too much. It is not necessary for the leader to do everything. Read Exodus 18:13-27. God gives pastors dedicated and gifted workers to assist them in the ministry. When pastors find themselves being overwhelmed by their work, they should decide if any of it can be delegated in order to free some time. An important use of time is training others to do the work. Although it may take a lot of time in the beginning, over a longer period, it will greatly help as those assisting will be able to help the leader in their tasks.
F. Respect the time of others
This includes the people who are in your services, the people you have appointments to see, and everyone you work with in ministry.
More Difficulties of Being a Pastor
Being a pastor is no easy task. In fact, it may be the most difficult job in the world. There is so much to do in this job. The apostle Paul said, "Who is equal to such a task?" (2 Cor 2:16). He answers this question by saying in 3:5-6, "Our competence comes from God. He has made us competent ministers. . ." Pastors will most likely face many triumphs and victories. Nevertheless, they will face many difficulties as well.
Mark 10:38 A minister must lay his life down for others as Jesus did (1 Jn 3:16).
B. Too busy to walk with God
A minister should not neglect the times of prayer, meditation, and study of the Bible. This should be first on their "to do" list every day. How can pastors represent God if they do not spend time in His presence? Leaders will find that the more time they spend with God, the easier the work of the ministry will go.
Feeling discouragement will make ministry more difficult. Being a pastor is a job which will occasionally bring with it discouragement. Pastors desire so much in the lives of their people. The minister should deal with discouragement by recognizing it's source. He should begin to see things from God's point of view. God always wins and so do those who side with Him. Look at the lives of Jeremiah and Elijah. They faced discouragement (Jer 20:1-18, 1 Ki 19:3-4), but God gave them hope (Jer 29:10-14,31:33-34, 1 Ki 19:10-18). Here are some ways to deal with discouragement:
1. Trust in His word
2. Be a person of prayer
3. Be obedient to His word and voice -- check to see if there is disobedience or some unyielded area
4. Remember that it will not last forever (1 Pe 5:10)
5. Do not forget that God cares for you. Meditate on these verses:
a. 1 Peter 5:7
b. Hebrews 13:5
c. Romans 8:35-39
d. 1 John 4:4
e. 1 Cor 15:56
D. Intense Temptations:
1. Pride (fame, glory)
a. Do not think you are always right.
b. Do not think you are important just because you have success (only little people get full of themselves).
c. Do not allow spiritual leadership to be glamorized.
d. Do not think your ministry (church) better than others.
e. Meditate on:
1). Job 42:4-6
2). Isaiah 6:1-5
3). Luke 5:8
4). Revelation 1:12-17.
2. Sexual sin
a. Seek God's wisdom to avoid tempting situations.
b. Avoid every appearance of evil.
c. Do not think you are strong and cannot be tempted (1 Cor 10:12).
a. Pastors are not to love money -- 1 Tim 3:3; 6:3-10.
b. Pastors must be open about finances, and full of integrity
E. False idea of success
1. Success is obedience
2. Do not need to be "successful" in world's eyes
1. Giving: Leaders must confront and discipline at times. The goal is always restoration.
a. 1 Cor 5:1-6
b. Matt 18:15-17
c. remember mercy: 2 Cor 2:5-11
2. Receiving: At times leaders have to be disciplined.
a. Receive with humility: Prov 10:17, 12:1, 15:32, Heb 12:8-11, Rev 3:19
b. Special directions concerning discipline of leaders: 1 Tim 5:17-21
Have you experienced any of these challenges in doing the Lord's work? Do you have a testimony of how the Lord has enabled you to overcome?
The Benefits of Being a Pastor
1. Spending time in the presence of God
Pastors spend time in God's word for both personal growth and preparation for preaching and teaching.
2. Seeing people grow in the Lord
It is very encouraging for pastors to think of all the infants in Christ they have seen or will see grow to become mature in their faith.
3. Seeing work grow and prosper
There will be times when pastors' ministry will grow and many people will come to be a part of it. There will also be times when the growth is inward and spiritual.
4. Pleasure of being God's 'fellow-worker' -- 2 Cor 6:1
Personal Habits of a Strong Leader
1. Meditation on God and His Word
A. Meditate on His Word day and night -- Jos 1:8, Ps 1:2
B. Meditation leads us to live in God's presence in uninterrupted fellowship
"I found it difficult to focus on God's presence, but I continued in it... I made this my business as much al the day long as at the appointed times of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thoughts of God." -- Brother Lawrence, Practicing the Presence of God.
"God is not impressed so much with the dimensions of our work as with the love in which it is done." -- Brother Lawrence
C. Jesus did nothing on His own accord -- He was always 'tuned in' to the Father (Jn 5:19, 30; 14:10)
D. Focus attention on God... takes patience and perseverance
A. Prayer is God' main method of changing us.
B. Prayer involves listening. Align yourself with God's purposes, rather than asking Him to align with yours.
C. Stand in the gap for the flock entrusted to you -- Eze 22:30-31
D. What keeps us from praying as we should?
1. Time -- busyness (see Acts 6)
3. Lack of faith
4. Lack of compassion
6. Would rather do than pray
E. Helpful principles of prayer
1. Pray in faith -- Jam 5:13-18; Mk 11:22-24
2. Pray in Jesus' Name (in agreement with His character and will) -- Jn 14:13-14
3. Persevere in prayer -- Lk 11:5-13; Lk 18:1-8
4. Fervency (intensity) -- Ps 42:1; Col 4:12
5. Obedience 1 Jn 3:21-22
A. God's chosen fast -- Is 58:3-9
B. Do not do it to be seen by men -- Mat 6:16-18
1. Not to get God's attention; rather to get our attention onto God
2. Greater intimacy with God
3. Reminds us we are sustained by God's Word; When fast, feast on God -- Mat 4:4
D. Focus on God -- Zech 7:5
4. Praise and Worship
A. Always be thankful -- 1 Thess 5:18
B. Focus on God -- not on problems, what you have to do,... helps us to have right perspective.
C. He is always worthy of our worship.
D. Often refreshed as we sense His presence
A. Frees us from the bondage of the 'pecking order' (someone is always above, and someone below).
B. Works humility in us
C. Makes us vulnerable... helps us to trust our Father
Spiritual vs Worldly Leadership
In this section we are going to examine three characteristics of natural, or worldly leadership. Unfortunately, these traits have become popular in the Church as well. As we have seen, Jesus taught that the leadership in the Kingdom of God must be radically different from the leadership style of the world (Mat 20:25-27). Instead of these three worldly qualities, we will look at three Christ-like leadership characteristics we should strive to develop.
1. Worldly Leadership
A. Personal ability
This means that the leader relies on his natural abilities to help others. He leads by his own strengths. He uses the things which he is good at, or the things which have allowed him to help people in the past. It may be his training, his ability as a speaker, his money, his social standing, his position, etc.
Most leaders feel the need to be impressive in order to lead. They try to be popular. They feel like people have to know about their efforts and their accomplishments. They need everyone to know that they are the leader, and that they deserve to be. It is important that people see them as a strong individual with the greatness to lead. Otherwise they fear they will lose their influence over people and thus their ability to lead them.
Leaders generally accomplish their goals through the use of the authority or power that they have as the leader. They think that their leadership is the ability to control people and circumstances. They try to use this authority to accomplish good things, even for the people being led. An example of this is the leader who tries to tell people how to live their lives because he knows what is best for them. It is the pastor who tells people what is allowed and what is not in order to be saved, in order to protect them from sin. At the surface this seems like a good thing, but in fact it can be very harmful.
The use of power in leadership is also seen when the leader uses people to fulfill his own vision. He has the attitude that the people are there simply so that he can accomplish the great work God has given him to do.
This type of leader manipulates people to do what he wants them to do, because he thinks it is for the best. He manipulates people to give, to come to church, to be involved in some kind of ministry, to fast, etc.
2. Spiritual Leadership
1. Instead of trusting in his abilities and strength, the spiritual leader is called upon to minister in weakness. Look at the following scriptures: 1 Cor 2:1-3 and 2 Cor 12:7-10.
2. What is important in leading others is not your strengths but your love for God. Before commissioning Peter to feed His sheep, Jesus asked him, "Do you love me?" (Jn 21:15-17)
3. God needs leaders to be vulnerable, empty vessels through which He can reveal His love to people. People's biggest need is not us and our abilities and strengths, it is to be touched by God's great love.
4. This type of powerful leadership is only achieved through constant prayer, meditating on God's love, and abiding in Jesus (see Jn 15:1-8). Knowing and loving Jesus are your highest priorities in life and in leadership.
5. In order to abide in Christ, we must fully surrender to Him on a daily basis – Lk 9:23-24.
1. Instead of being individually great and popular, Jesus calls us to minister within the community of His body. This means two things:
a. We minister with other people. We recognize the giftings and callings which God has placed within others. We allow them to develop, and do not attempt to do everything ourselves.
b. We recognize that we need to be ministered to as much as the people we are leading. We are not superior to them. In fact, we need to receive ministry from the very people we minister to. We need to be vulnerable and broken before them, allowing them to lead us even as we lead them. You are a shepherd, but you are also one of the sheep!
2. This type of ministry is based on honoring people. Learn to recognize the power of God in the lives of those you lead. Recognize that they, too, are filled with the Holy Spirit, know God, and are called by Him to be ministers.
3. This also requires humbling yourself before people. Do not be afraid to allow them to see your weaknesses and failures. This does not mean that you should openly confess all your sins and temptations, but that you should be a vulnerable, needy member of the community that you lead.
C. Serve & Love people
1. Instead of leading by the use of authority, lead by serving people. Instead of manipulating people to do what is right, love them and help them to see God's love.
2. This requires great faith. You must trust that God is at work in people. Trust that His Spirit is more able to bring them to perfection that your authority.
3. Learn to discern how God is at work in the lives of people, and then help them to see it. Teach them to find God in the details of their lives, and to recognize how He is seeking to reveal Himself to them and bring them closer to Himself.
4. Understand that people are not there simply to fulfill your vision. In fact, as their servant you are there to help them fulfill their God-given vision.
5. This type of leadership is based on loving the people you are called upon to lead. It is easier to lead by power than to lead by love, but leading by love is God's way, and is more effective in the end.