I am not your typical pastor.
Actually, I don’t have the official title of pastor at all. I have not attended bible school, nor received certification or a license. I have not gone through a pastoral interview or been appointed by a district board.
While I may not have a job title of pastor, I do not believe that dismisses me from the responsibility of pastoring.
Before I continue, I must acknowledge the journey that our pastor’s take. It is a choice they have made to dedicate their lives to studying God’s word, seeking continually the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and learning how to listen to and love the people that surround them. Not all are called to lead or teach in such capacity; James 3:1 even speaks to this and provides a reason why…
“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
But I do feel convicted in this way…while not all are called to become pastors (noun), we are all expected to pastor (verb).
About a year ago, Pastor Anthony had a meeting with his adult & student leadership team (of which I am part of) and he made this comment… “You are all pastors.” He continued one with his meeting, but I had gotten stuck on those 4 words.
You. Are. All. Pastors.
Too often, we find ourselves leaning on our pastoral leadership to provide support and care for those around us. I pray that family members or close friends attend church so that the lead pastor can meet them and take them out for coffee and hear their story and change their life. I get excited when our leadership talks about partnering with city leaders and dreams of influencing our businesses and local industries.
But too often I forget that I may be the cause for change.
Because I often forget I am called to pastor.
“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” – Acts 20:28
As I read this verse, I am aware of two things:
- I have a Pasture – there is a flock for which I am called to oversee.
- I must maintain a certain Posture – there is an alignment I must have with God and with my church that will enable me to pastor and to pastor well.
A shepherd was responsible for their pasture – a section of land occupied by his/her sheep. S/he knows them, feeds them, cares for them, and searches for them when one has wandered. Today, we all have our pasture, but it is not in the form of an open field. For some, it’s family/home, the school you attend or teach at, while for others it’s the company you work for…The list could go one, but the point is this: we all have a pasture we are to oversee – and within that pasture is a group of individuals (sheep) that need our attention. They are our responsibility.
Now while this may be our responsibility, it is important to understand this is not our burden – it is a shared responsibility. Which is where this comes in…
A spine in perfect health is one that is in complete alignment. When the spine is in alignment, the body works as it should and it provides extra strength and support. In the same way, our spiritual “spine” must be aligned. But what does that look like?
- Be connected with God – through this connection we communicate, worship, share our needs, listen for His guidance, and grow closer to Him.
- Be connected with the Church (leaders) – those who follow Jesus are part of the body of Christ (God’s Church, 1 Timothy 3:15); when we are connected with His church, we are in agreeance that we are part of something bigger and we allow ourselves to learn from one another and to be encouraged by one another.
So, no. Technically I am not a pastor. But I will do my best to encounter each day with a pastor’s heart – to see the pasture I have been assigned and to maintain a posture that will allow me to do God’s work.
What do you think?