The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17)
The role of the pastor seems to be mired in great confusion. What exactly is a pastor to be, and to do? Here I am not addressing “being and doing” in terms of qualifications, but rather in terms of function.
Today, many have given the pastor a CEO kind of position, where he is first and foremost a manager, a motivator, an organizer, and administrator. These pastors study business to see how Fortune 500 CEOs run their companies and make decisions. They divide the church into veritable “divisions” from which they can assess profitability and contribution. They read from the ever-increasing number of books on leadership (and many of them are very good and much needed). They focus on being a good people person, able to meet and greet in the foyer before and after church, to light up a room with his presence, and draw people to himself. Now let’s be honest—all of those things are an important part of ministry and are neglected only at the risk of confusion, disorganization, discouragement, and stagnation.
I think there are things in business that the church should practice because they are good common sense principles of management that ultimately spring from truth—things like accountability, assessment, delegation, involvement, teamwork, and the like. Pastor do have to be able to organize and manage, make decisions with wisdom and insight. He should be reading and studying to increase his leadership capacity.
I think the pastor should be at least somewhat of a people person, at least able to give the appearance of comfort in meeting new people, even though it might not be his favorite thing to do.
Good preaching requires the study of other great preachers, both by reading them and listening to them. Ultimately, you will develop most of your delivery ability by listening to others who do it well. It is doubtful that reading a book on delivery will ever teach you much about opening your mouth and speaking better.
Pastors must color in the pictures of God’s revelation so that people can see in vibrant, living images what they will look like when they fully obey God.
So pastors, close your door, turn off the email, let the phone go to voicemail (except for your wife and kids), stop administrating and planning, and work hard at preaching and teaching. Your church depends on it.
That is what makes you worthy of the respect (and remuneration) of your church.