There are a lot of things we expect the pastor to do for us in Christianity. We use excuses like “I’m not gifted in this area. The pastor could simply do it much better.” Some of us simply believe if a pastor is being paid then he should be all the is required to devote time and energy into specific areas. While this list is not exhaustive, there are some key things I have seen growing up in the church that we mistake for being solely the pastors job.
1. It is the pastor’s job to evangelize.
Too many people assume the pastor is the one who is supposed to do the evangelizing in the community. The greatest extent we go to is inviting someone to church so that way the pastor can present the gospel to them. When Jesus gave the great commission he didn’t say, “Oh by the way, this is just for the pastors. Anyone else can just ignore this.” He did not say, “If you don’t feel gifted in sharing the gospel with others then don’t sweat it.” He did not say, “Just help someone out with money or a house project and invite them to church.” He told all of his followers to go and make disciples. Christians are in the discipleship business rather than just pastors.
2. It is the pastor’s job to teach me God’s Word.
You can’t expect an hour long sermon once a week to be enough to keep you going in understanding God’s Word. The amount of time you spend studying God’s Word on your own should dwarf the amount of time you hear a pastor preaching. I love to preach. I love teaching others about what I learn from God’s word, but anyone who uses that as a replacement for reading God’s word for themselves is being foolish. Our churches are to full of people who demand the church to be their sole resource in being fed spiritually. It is full of people who refuse to take ownership in their spiritual lives. This leads to an individual who is merely a hearer of the Word. A believer incapable of studying God’s Word on his own time can never hope to apply God’s word from the little time he spends listening to a sermon on it.
3. It is the pastor’s job to tell me how to live my life.
Pastors are not here to tell you how to make every decision in your life. If you are under a pastor who does do that then it would be my advice to run away as fast as you can and never look back. Pastors will help guide you and give you Biblical counsel in the midst of difficult decision, but we are not your decision maker. All we can do is point you to Scripture, and how it can apply to your situation. In the end you need to take responsibility for your decisions.
4. It is the pastor’s job to teach my family.
Parents need to take an active role in investing in the spiritual lives of their children. Expecting the pastor’s in your church to be all that is needed to speak some truth into their lives for a few hours in a week will lead to disaster. The leader of the home needs to take the responsibility of teaching God in their home. It goes beyond dragging the kids to church.
5. It is the pastor’s job to meet the needs of those in the congregation.
This simply is not feasible. A pastor should be aware of the needs in his church. He should be shepherding and caring for the congregation, but part of the beauty of church is when the believers gather together to meet needs for each other. If you see someone struggling in your church maybe you should be the one to move in to help them rather than pass it along to the pastor for him to figure it out.
Here is what it comes down to. The church is not meant to be a place where the majority is passive and some pastors take care of everything. Pastors guide the congregation on how to live a life full of fulfillment in Scripture. They teach the congregation how to care for one another as a family. They inspire them to spread the gospel everywhere they go. They lead with God’s expectation that others follow rather than watch. I don’t want a bunch of followers who simply watch me. I want followers who act. Which do you want to be?