Sunday, September 27, 2009
What Shoud a Pastors Priorities Be?
Pastoral Priorities for Pastors/Elders
(1) Prayer, in-depth Bible study, and spiritual preparation for teaching and communicating the Word. Teaching then becomes an overflow of a life bathed in the Word (Ezra 7:6-10; John 15:7; Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:1-3, 16; 1 Tim. 4:14-16; 2 Tim. 2:15).
(2) Preaching and teaching the Word (1 Tim. 4:6, 11-13; 2 Tim. 4:1-2; 1 Cor. 9:16). Some Goals:
• Teach the people to love the Word of God (Isa. 66:2; Ps. 1:1-3).
• Lead people to submit to the authority of the Word and to see obedience as a major goal of their lives (Josh. 1:8).
• Demonstrate that the proclamation of the Word is critical to worship (John 4:24).
• Motivate people to look for and live in view of the coming of the Lord (Tit. 2:1, 11-15).
• Motivate people to good deeds or ministry (Tit. 2:14; 3:1, 8, 14)
(3) Discipling leaders and future leaders (Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:2)
(1) Calling, visiting, counseling (Rom. 15:1-4; 1 Thess. 5:11-12; Jam. 1:27; 5:14).
(2) Administrative functions: thinking, planning and organizing, letters, etc.
The Principle of Plurality and Equality
In keeping with maintaining the priorities, the limited capacity of one man, and the giftedness of the body of Christ under His headship, authority, and preeminence, New Testament leadership appears to have been plural and equal with no system of hierarchy. Certain men will naturally function as leaders among the leaders because of their training, giftedness, wisdom, knowledge, and experience, but all are equal and accountable to each other. (Compare Acts 15 and the leadership demonstrated by James among the leaders of the church at Jerusalem. Also compare Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 5:17.) See Appendix B for elaboration.
The Principle of Selectivity and Quality
The most important element in selecting leaders is their spiritual qualification. Selection is the process of applying biblical standards to the selection of leaders, but these are to be leaders chosen by the Holy Spirit. It means the greatest need is not leaders, but spiritual men. It also necessitates the intentional training and preparation of men to take a leadership role (Acts 6:3; 1 Tim. 3:1f; 2 Tim. 2:2; Tit. 1:6f).
In his classic on leadership, Oswald Sanders writes,
The Holy Spirit does not take control of any man or body of men against their will. When He sees elected to positions of leadership men who lack spiritual fitness to cooperate with Him, He quietly withdraws and leaves them to implement their own policy according to their own standards, but without His aid. The inevitable issue is an unspiritual administration.4
Choosing men according to biblical standards means we must seek to select only those who have modeled commitment and obedience as an emergent leadership. This creates standards and establishes training examples who model the message (1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet. 5:3).
The Principle of Purity of Philosophy
(1) Definition: Philosophical purity simply refers to an agreement, especially among the leaders, but extending to a broad base in the congregation, concerning (1) the purposes, goals, and product of the church, (2) the priority of certain ministries over others (exposition, training, evangelism, etc., versus some of the typical expectations that people have regarding the church), and (3) the methods used to reach those objectives.
(2) Description: Philosophical purity means unity or oneness of mind, harmonious agreement, but not necessarily unanimity, the complete agreement on all issues (cf. Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 1:10). Unity means coming to a working agreement based on a common objective.
(3) Necessity: Philosophical purity is vital to the kind of ministry that is able to multiply itself in growing, mature people who become engaged in the work of ministry in evangelism and edification.
(4) Key Scriptures: John 17:11-23; Eph. 4:3-16; Phil. 1:27; 2:2.
The Principle of Servant-Like Ministry
The church must be led by those who have the heart and life of a servant whose motives are pure (John 13:1f; Luke 22:26; 1 Thess. 2:3-8).
The Principle of Autonomy
Each local church is a separate entity in and of itself with its own God-given leaders and is answerable directly and only to Christ (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:3).
Principles of Administration and Organization for the Church