Jump directly to the content
Jul 23, 2013
Ministry

Recognize Your Role in the Church

Ministry Fence Post #1 |
Recognize Your Role in the Church
WAITSCM - FLICKR

In the first post of this series, I began a discussion on the importance of pastors establishing healthy boundaries in ministry.

As it's an area in which I have personally struggled, and one in which I continue to grow, I'm passionate about sharing what I have learned in order to help others not make the same mistakes that I did.

In the next four blog posts, I will share keys to establishing these boundaries. Think of them as four fence posts surrounding a healthy ministry.

The first "post" supporting a healthy ministry is to recognize your role in the church.

You, as the pastor, are not ultimately responsible for the church.

You, as the pastor, are not ultimately responsible for the church. While you do have some, only King Jesus bears the final responsibility.

When this boundary is ignored, the church ends up being built around the pastor, who then actually becomes part of the problem rather than the solution.

At my second church plant, we had grown to a congregation of about 125 after 18 months. While this might seem like a positive development, it became a bit of an Achilles heel for me. The attendance numbers became my driving force from week to week.

I would actually take time every Saturday to personally call all of our regular and occasional attendees and encourage them to be at church the next day. I was convinced that if I didn't call everyone, the church would fall apart the next day. Because my identity was so wrapped up in our weekly attendance, if the church numbers collapsed the next day, my life, in effect, would collapse with it.

When pastors misunderstand their role like I did, they tend to put all their focus on some predetermined view of success rather than those things they are biblically called to, such as shepherding and equipping.

Thankfully, a combination of my wife and a pastor friend in another town lovingly pointed out to me that I needed to make some changes. It resulted in my resignation. Well, sort of.

I actually got up one Sunday and "resigned." (Yep, I used air quotes.) I told my congregation that I was going to resign as the sole shepherd and caregiver of the church.

I apologized for not creating proper boundaries and explained that I was restructuring. Using some very 90's language (which wasn't too terrible because it was the 90's), I explained that I was going to move into a "rancher" role, while appointing "shepherds" who worked there. It was a big step of growth, both for the church and myself.

Although moving to a decentralized ministry model was a good step, it was a hard step. The next boundary "post" we will examine speaks to the difficulty of creating healthy boundaries: the pastor has to be healthy enough to create the boundary.

Related Topics:Pastors
Posted:July 23, 2013 at 10:00 am

Comments

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.
or
Subscribe
or

More From This Blog

Introducing EvangelVision: A New Resource from Wheaton College

Introducing EvangelVision: A New Resource from Wheaton College

EvangelVision is a helpful resource for the both the veteran and the anxious evangelist.
Morning Roundup 7/30/14

Morning Roundup 7/30/14

Wikipedia Wars; Not Willing That Any Should Perish; God is NOT Good
Learning How to Fail: An Interview with J.R. Briggs

Learning How to Fail: An Interview with J.R. Briggs

People who do ministry are going to fail. The question is: "What are you going to do about it?"
Morning Roundup 7/29/14

Morning Roundup 7/29/14

Seminary Debt; Confusing Emails; Grand Narrative

Follow Ed Stetzer

Exchange Logo

Kelly Rosati, the Vice President of Community Outreach at Focus on the Family, joins Ed Stetzer on this episode of The Exchange to discuss civil and successful cultural engagement and Irreplaceable the movie.

Cast: Ed Stetzer

Tags: Kelly Rosati, Focus on the Family, Adoption, Marriage, Cultural Issues, Civility, Parenting and Culture Wars

Read ED Stetzer's Books

See All

Follow Christianity Today

Christianity Today
Recognize Your Role in the Church