The Bible provides a pastor's job description. The New Testament gives the leaders of the church instructions on how to rule their members, using the metaphor of a shepherd and his flock. Unlike many professions, a pastor wears many hats and assumes the front line position of a church group or congregation.
Preaching and teaching
A pastor teaches and admonishes the members of his church. According to 1 Timothy 5:17-19, elders who work hard at preaching and teaching should be given double honor. In Acts 6:1-4, the apostles pointed out that their priorities were preaching and prayer. As a teacher, a pastor also resolves doctrinal issues. Acts 15:5-6 narrate how the apostles and the elders looked into the doctrinal issue of circumcising the Gentiles.
A pastor prays for the members of the church and for the ministry. She also prays for the sick church members who may be at home, in the church or in the hospitals. According to James 5:15, if anyone is sick, she should call for the elders of the church to pray over her. Again in Acts 6:4, the apostles pointed out that one of their main duties was prayer.
Overseeing the church
A pastor cares for the church in the same way a shepherd cares for his flock. In Acts 20:28, Paul admonished the elders to look after their congregation and be "shepherds" to them. In 1 Peter 5:1-2, the apostle Peter also used the shepherd metaphor in urging the elders to look after the believers.
Be a good example
A pastor models a life worth imitating. In Luke 6:40, Jesus said that the actions of a teacher influence her students. According to Hebrews 13:7, believers should remember their leaders and imitate their faith.
A pastor manages the activities of his church and ensures the organization functions smoothly. 1 Corinthians 12:28 lists the different gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed on the church, one of which is administration. Churches usually have a pastoral staff and elders who handle different tasks; some members of the pastoral staff who have demonstrated gifts in administration handle tasks requiring this skill.
Just like in any organizational setup, there is also a process of discipline in a church setting, and a pastor undertakes the unpopular task of disciplining a member who has committed a serious offense against the congregation. In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus teaches the process of resolving conflicts among members of the church which involves disciplining.
A pastor ensures unity in the church. In 1 Corinthians 1:10, the apostle Paul practiced his leadership role of uniting the believers by exhorting them to agree with one another and to avoid divisions.
A pastor establishes relationships with the members of her congregation. She knows her sheep and loves them. In 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul stressed the superiority of love over all other spiritual gifts.
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