I hear a lot of complaints about pastors who do not “do their job”. When I ask what that “job” is, I am told that ‘he doesn’t visit the sick’ or ‘preach the ‘gospel’ or …. the list goes on.
I imagine myself being given such a job description: “You shall preach each Sunday; lead a weekly Bible study; visit the sick at least once a week; counsel all needs; visit each member’s home within a year; preach at least five evangelic messages with an appeal annually and stand on your head between 9 and 10 am each Tuesday.” “For this we will pay you a salary of $X.”
If I agree to such a ‘contract’ I am honour bound as a believer, to do that ‘job’ to the best of my ability.
However, after two weeks I find that I have a head-ache all day Wednesday after standing on my head, so I stop doing so. This is discovered and soon I am being accused (over supper tables) of not doing my job. It gets worse when I run out of evangelic messages after my fourth poor attempt to preach one - I do not consider myself a gifted evangelist but rather as an equipper or discipler, in which areas I know much more freedom, and hopefully anointing. Then I find myself ill equipped to do the counseling so many of my people desire, and begin to send them to more gifted men.
The sincere pastor gets frustrated as he becomes aware of the undercurrent of discontent and, if he is a strong person, he will begin to ‘do his own thing’ contrary to the ‘contract’ (job description) for which he is being paid. Soon, there are unfulfilled expectations on each side and the pastor packs his bags and leaves for greener pastures elsewhere where he signs up for another ‘job description’! (The average tenure of pastors in North America is apparently, less than 3 years!!!)
When will we allow a truly God-called pastor to fulfill his calling as a ministry rather than a ‘job’?
When will pastors realise their calling is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:12)?
When will the laity realize it is their ministry to visit the sick, etc.?