I am convinced that as pastors we have not been doing our job correctly. Now, please don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say. I realize that there are many who question how much work pastors really do, including some in my own extended family! But, my point is not that pastors don’t work, many of us work way too many hours. My assertion is not that we don’t work, but that we have been ministering incorrectly and thus ineffectively.
Let me quickly backtrack for a moment and say that I cannot and should not speak for all pastors. That would be extremely ignorant and very presumptuous. I am certain that there are many ministers and churches that have grasped what the Lord is showing me and have already put it into practice. Nevertheless, after more than 25 years in ministry, I am afraid that those churches and those men of God are the exception and not the norm.
What is our problem? We do too much ministry. Now, that might seem like a contradictory statement. You might ask, “aren’t pastor’s supposed to be doing ministry? Isn’t their job to preach, pray, save the lost, visit the sick, and organize the church?” Well, yes and no. Unfortunately, we have become so good at doing those things that we have failed to train others to do them as well.
Paul said in Ephesians 4:11, 12 – Now these are the gifts that Christ gave to the church: The apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the Church, the body of Christ.
Did you catch that? Our job is not necessarily to do all the work, but to equip God’s people to do His work. When we insist on being the coach, quarterback, running back and linebacker, we greatly limit what God can accomplish through His Church. Not only that, but we fail to realize that there are others who can do the work of the ministry better than us.
Do you agree with my assessment? I would love to hear from you. Check back in the next few days and I continue my conversation on what it will take to move our churches from “Me Churches” to “We Churches.”
* The idea of “Me to We” was taken from a book that Alan Nelson wrote in 2007 by that same title.