Four Reasons Why Some Pastors Don’t Equip Believers
The New Testament concept of the pastor is not of a person who jealously guards all ministry in his own hands… but one who helps and encourages all of God’s people to discover, develop, and exercise their gifts. His teaching and training are directed to this end, to enable the people of God to be a servant people…Thus instead of monopolizing all ministry himself, he actuaslly multiplies ministries. – John Stott
(The Message of Ephesians; p.167)
I have been pastoring on a full-time capacity for the past 13 years and I have made so many mistakes in doing ministry. One of the things that I remind myself so as not to commit a major mistake many people like I am when I was starting out in ministry is not having a clear job description.
Most pastors sign up for ministry because they love doing the work of God and they love God and His people. Though love is above all and love will make you enjoy ministry, knowing your job description is also very important.
One of the jobs of the pastor, as mentioned in the book of Ephesians, is that as pastors we are called to equip believers to do the ministry. I hope you take note of the emphasis I put in the last sentence. EQUIP BELIEVERS TO DO THE MINISTRY.
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
Our ministry is to equip our people to do ministry. That involves a lot of discipleship and leadership development. But you might ask why some pastors don’t do it?
Four reasons pastors don’t equip believers to do ministry:
a. We might lose our job.
Pastors tend to be afraid to feel that they are unnecessary to the church. But the opposite is true. The more the pastor lead with the idea of leaving, as of how Pastor Steve Murrell would coin it, the more he is adding value to the church.
b. Spiritual pride.
Pride and ego keep us from developing others. There is a feeling that I need to be in control and be on top of everything. Be reminded that your ministry should not be your source of affirmation, God is. So don’t build a ministry around you because it will and should never be about you.
We hold tight to ministry because it is the reason for our being. Idolatry is making something good ultimate. When pastors start making their position their idol, they feel threatened when a new pastor comes along. This creates an unhealthy culture of people always running to you because they have no other capable leader to lead.
How about you pastor? What’s holding you back from preparing others to do the ministry?
Lastly, is some pastors are clueless on how to equip believers. The reason can range from nobody has ever discipled the pastor himself when he was starting out in his faith. Another reason could be is that most independent pastors were thrust into church leadership without any training or impartation from mature pastors and leaders. Though with so much resources out there, and the network of churches that practices discipleship, there might be no excuse why you can’t start learning how to prepare others to do the work of the ministry.
How about you? Are there any other reasons you can think of why some pastors don’t equip believers to do ministry? I would love to hear your thoughts.