“A church leader is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money. Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life.” ~Titus 1:7-8 NLT.
What does it mean to be a pastor?
The practices you keep are daily and are an example to others of how to live life for God as well as how to use His word for support. As a pastor, you are on display somewhat like a goldfish in a clear fishbowl. This, too, is daily.
It is a calling, not just a way of life. Any Christian would, hopefully daily, pray, read the Bible, and make choices that glorify and honor God. A pastor is called to shepherd the sheep, lead others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and disciple them through their own calling.
This is not an appointment for everyone and it is not more important than any other calling, just different.
There are many positions internally in the church building and externally. The only true head covering of any church position is Christ, stated directly and clearly in the Bible (Psalm 118:22, Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 4:12, Ephesians 5:23, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Colossians 1:18, Psalms 68:18, Ephesians 4:8, Colossians 2:10). All are needed and important to the growth of the Kingdom of God.
Unfortunately, a lot of people still misinterpret the Bible for how those positions should be held and by whom. They even give greater emphasize to certain ones, again because of misinterpretation, that is poor integrity.
Yes, there is something called “the five fold ministries” but that is a term that people came up with, not stated in the Bible. Paul’s teachings are the most misinterpreted passages in all of the Bible and he is the one who listed these positions in Ephesians. He also stated that we are all one body and work in unity, with Christ being the head of the church. Unfortunately, since he states in other passages (such as the main one for this post) the word “he”, people assume incorrectly what Paul means.
People are fallible.
Gender is not black and white text in the Bible. It is to be interpreted by the culture, context, and content surrounding the rest of the chapter or book. We have to understand the culture in order to know why he or any author of the Bible chose the words they did. We should also go back to the original Hebrew and Greek texts because some misinterpretation occurred during the first English translation and some words were left out.
Do your research. Good pastors do.
People in leadership should live by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. They should also verify the prompting within a well researched version of seeking God’s word for accuracy in the prompting. The devil knows how to prompt. He often uses our bias and personal feelings as a means to make us believe that it is the Holy Spirit’s direction leading us. Our feelings will lie.
Education is very important in leadership.
When I was a teenager, I felt the call of pastoring but was told it was not possible due to being a female. I went along with whatever the church told me was acceptable…because they obviously had to know the word of God better than I did, because they were pastors and leaders within the church.
Most of my teenage and young adult years were spent in confusion of who I am because what I thought was incorrect, according to the church. Over the years, people have come into my life that have challenged me spiritually. Whether good or bad challenges, I was changed because it catapulted me into learning about God’s word. Not just the words within the pages but the history, culture, and grammatical placement of words and punctuation.
God places an emphasis on structure.
After many years of attendance and completion of Bible college and Seminary, I am able to study His word accurately. I will no longer take a person’s word for what the word says but instead trust God’s leading through His words.
Fast forward a few years, God placed a more specific calling on my life. I have the spiritual giftings of teaching and administration that I have used in many capacities, but there was still a piece missing. That piece was the correct position for using those giftings. However, I again went back to thinking about my upbringing, using it as a reservation for moving forward with the calling. I had an internal struggle over it for a couple of years and prayed hard for God to show me very clearly so that there was no doubt.
He began bringing up Scripture around the calling and then placed me in a position to create and lead a church in Pakistan. I preach once a week to several villages, via zoom, in the nation of Pakistan.
It still did not feel complete. God had me reading a lot about Paul and Timothy. I realized that He placed me in this position for preparation.
Preparation is needed for refining the calling.
He told me that I was the “Paul” to the “Timothy” that will come out of the Pakistani community to take over as the new head pastor of that church. God is using me to minister to a nation that does not get access to the Bible or spiritual leadership. He is using me to educate the Timothy that will rise up within the group. This time is an education for me to learn ways to address the needs of the marginalized.
Over the past six months, God has been working on my heart and my husband’s heart to step out into something new.
Our Place is the result of all of what was previously written in this post. It was birthed out of the struggle, need, and growth of who I am for Christ. I am the head pastor and my husband is the pastor’s husband. To walk in integrity, this has developed from months of prayer, fasting, prompting from the Holy Spirit with research in the word for verification, and guidance from other pastors.
Change is coming, to a new community.
As a mental health therapist, I am around needy populations everyday. Through my business and my family, God has created an ache in my heart for those who are not seen or seen and ignored. There are many needs that are being overlooked, for the comfort of those who do not need the extra comfort.
The mission and vision of Our Place is to provide all individuals regardless of age, race, or ethnicity with a safe, loving environment, to establish or build a relationship with God. Our Place is not affiliated with a religious denomination nor non-denominational. We are a community practicing the full-gospel, believing what the Bible says as truth, following after Jesus, guided by the Holy Spirit through a casual atmosphere of generational discipleship. Our goal is to help provide resources to the marginalized, both spiritually and physically, as a community outreach church.
This church will not be like the four-walls version, as we will be meeting the needs of poor communities through a social services framework. People will come to a casual environment to fellowship and listen to a short message the Lord has laid on my heart. They will then be invited to discuss the sermon that was preached as an atmosphere of generational discipleship, just as Christ did. Our community will be mindful of the physical needs of those attending in an effort to help provide for their needs.
The Western church needs to be different!
Our Place will be more outward for the people than inward.
As Christians, we need to hold the integrity of Jesus who met the physical and spiritual needs of those He encountered and interacted with. We look forward to sharing the journey God has us on, so stay tuned.