Role of the Pastor
my time be spent while serving in a congregation where every
member is a minister? Some pastors are tempted to think
that since most needs are being met in the small groups
that their load of responsibility will somehow become non-existent.
Jesus made it clear that His "burden is light and well
fitting." Like Moses' experience in Exodus 18 when
the responsibility for the care of people is delegated
to the level of groups of 10, then the leader is freed up
to deal more effectively with the more difficult counseling
issues. What are key issues requiring the focused attention
1. Provide environmental
When new construction
is being considered in a city, the City Council always calls
for an "environmental impact study" to count the
cost of the project in terms of how it will impact the entire
environment surrounding the project. As pastors our job
to impact the entire environment within the church and everything
that is around the church. We must create a healthy
spiritual environment where people are challenged to
respond to the gospel message, and then to grow to spiritual
maturity in Christ. The worship services must lead people
into the presence of Christ where the Word of God is faithfully
preached, and there is freedom to respond in obedience to
God's revealed will. An atmosphere is created where God
honoring values are lifted up and lived out.
2. Champion God's
heart for His church.
Cast vision for what
can be to God's glory when we join Him in what He wants
to do to build His church. God has not stuttered when it
comes to his desires for His church. We need to proclaim
God's heart with enthusiasm and power! Much has been said
about discovering what God has called each church to uniquely
be, while missing the clear message of what God has clearly
called the church to be!
3. Build a structure.
As we understand God's
heart for His church, how do we accomplish the task? This
is the genius of cell ministry. The structure
makes it possible to provide quality care for every member
in the church. Once the vision is cast and grasped, the
leader must arrange an entire structure to produce the desired
outcomes. What is God's heart for His people? What does
He want His church to look like? The structure, like bones
in a body, gives strength and stability to the organ-ization
(ism). The wise cell pastor will work within the existing
structure to grow people to maturity in Christ.
4. Equip leaders.
Ephesians 4:12-13 clearly
reveals that the pastor's job is to equip
and provide the necessary tools for the believers to do
the work of building God's church. Cell ministry grinds
to a halt when the pastor fails to see that as the groups
take on the primary care for the needs of people in the
church, the pastor now must focus upon caring for the needs
of the leaders. Research shows that teaching hospitals are
not only birthing centers to surgeons and physicians, but
they also provide the best overall care for the patients
themselves. Like the teaching hospital, when effective equipping
is being practiced, a healing environment is being generated.
5. Provide a spiritual
Like the play book on
a football team, a spiritual
growth track helps everyone to understand how operate
in the heat of the battle. This play book makes it possible
for all of the coaches, assistant coaches and players to
have a common understanding of team plays, offensive and
defensive formations, special teams, and overall strategy.
When a new player gets drafted, or a veteran joins from
another team, the first priority is to learn the play book.
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church, has
written a powerfully practical book called, "The Purpose
Driven Church". Rick is correct in stating that our
job as a church is to grow people spiritually at every level
in the spiritual maturity process. Many resources are available
today, it is not necessary to personally generate these
materials in house. However, decisions must be made as to
which tools, resources and materials are recommended for
use throughout the organization. Many become stifled in
helping others in the growth process because they are not
sure of what to cover next. Rick Warren speaks of the process
using a baseball diamond illustration where first base is
membership, second base is maturity, third base is ministry,
and home base is missions. Rick and his staff have thoughtfully
considered how to grow people at each level of the growth
process because they are a "Purpose Driven Church".
6. Set the pace.
The term for leadership
in the Greek is "proistemi".
It means, "the first to stand", or "to stand
before". The very nature of a leader is to "lead".
Every cell pastor must be living out the values of basic
Christian community in a small group. We never outgrow
our need to experience lifechanging relationships in the
context of a small group. Though the cell pastor need not
necessarily lead a small group, at the minimum there must
be active participation in one.
7. Provide needed
Help people to set their
eyes on things above. Ultimately, our leadership is going
to be evaluated on the basis of the degree to which we move
a group of people toward the God-given vision. It takes
faith to see each obstacle and difficulty as an opportunity
for ministry. Cell ministry means that we are more aware
of the needs and hurts in the lives of the people to whom
we minister. Though our schedule may be lighter because
we are not running programs, we carry a heavier emotional
load than ever before. Leaders often become aware needs
and problems in lives about which they wish they never knew.
These problems have been brewing below the surface, holding
people in bondage for months and years. The cell pastor
must inspire leaders to bring every need before God in prayer.
The future is always as bright as the promises of God.
By Pastor Stan
Lubeck © copyright 2005