People often say to me, “Your not like other pastors.” Honestly, I’m not quite sure how to take this… I think it’s a compliment. But I’m not exactly sure it is given that way. I think what people are trying to say is they think I should dress like that guy >>>> or they are saying, “you portray yourself like a regular guy, not like a man of the cloth”
Here is the reason that I take it as a compliment:
So the goal is to “Equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:2).” I think if a pastor the people who make up his congregation to do the “work of the ministry” he has to de-professionalize himself. Here’s what I mean… The pastor should function so that the people who benefit from his ministry honestly believe that they can bestow the same ministry on others. This guy has to constantly be removing himself from the position of “minister” and inserting others there.
I don’t mean that the pastor/elder should live exactly the same lifestyle as the people in his church. In fact, his life should be noticeably distinct. He should be the guy who is living holy, advocating for righteousness and humbly walking with Jesus… but he should also be inviting other to join him in his distinction.
- When a father comes to you with a young boy who wishes to make Jesus his Lord you have a chance to blur the line. Ask the father to explain the Gospel to his son… When this son believes, further blur the line by having the father baptize his son.
- When your gone to a conference, preaching at another church or just on vacation… fight the temptation to hire in your pulpit supply. Bring up a guy who has never preached. Make sure it’s a guy who loves Jesus and will study hard. Read his sermon before you leave, help him prepare… but let him preach.
You guys “of the cloth”… what are some of the ways that you have blured the line between shephard and sheep and how have you seen that work out?