Jul 21

The Pastor’s Job Description

I’m currently reading Dangerous Calling, by Paul David Tripp.  This is a great book, and one that I would recommend to anyone in ministry or who is preparing for ministry.  It is one of those books that you will continually refer back to, regularly uncovering and unpacking new things about your heart, desires and ministry.  Today as I was reading, I came across a section that got me thinking about the Pastor’s job description.  Most churches have specific job descriptions for their pastor.  A church wants someone who will preach, teach, visit the sick, infirm and dying, cast vision, manage staff, preserve the tradition of the church, fundraise, feed, entertain, leap tall buildings in a single bound, slay giants…you get the idea.  Without the perspective of God’s call on our life and ministry, these tasks and duties can make those in ministry tiresome and weary.

Here is an excerpt of what I read today that really spoke to me:


Pastor, you have been called as an ambassador of glory.  You have been called to rescue those who are awe-discouraged and awe-confused.  You are called to represent the one who is glory, to people who, by means of suffering and disappointment, have become glory cynics.  You have been called to be God’s voice to woo them back.  You are placed in their lives as a divine means of rescue, healing, and restoration.  You have been called to speak into the confusion with gospel clarity and authority.  You have been called to give glory-bound hope to those who have become hopeless.  You are called to speak liberating truths to those who have become deceived.  You have been called to please with disloyal children to once again be reconciled with their heavenly Father.  You have been called to give glorious motivation to those who have given up.  You have been called to shine the light of glory into the hearts that have been made dark by looking for life in all the wrong places.  You have been called to offer the filling glories of grace to those who are empty and malnourished.  You have been called to represent a glorious King, who alone is able to rescue, heal, redeem, transform, forgive, deliver and satisfy.  You have been called.

As I read that, it reminded me once again that ministry is about people; loving people, leading people and pointing people to the hope we have in the gospel.  It reminded me that everything I do in ministry must have redeeming and transforming value.  I found myself thinking through a few questions:

  • How much of what I have ben called to (above) is reflected in my actual job description?
  • Are there areas of my job description that need to be added, changed or eliminated in order to reflect God’s call on my life?
  • Are there things that I’m doing that are not in my job description or what I have been called to as a pastor?
  • Are there things that are taking up my time (things like nurturing events, organizing programs, or running the operations of our organization) that cause limit me in bringing hope and life to our people?
  • As I move forward in my calling, what are areas of focus, and things that need to be strengthened?

I’m still thinking through some of these questions, but initially I have discovered some areas I need to grow in, and things I need to change.  Change is never comfortable or easy, but it’s healthy and transformative.  My hope is that if you are in ministry, and are reading this, that it will serve as encouragement and growth for you as well.