What are the challenges you are facing as a Pastor?
Had the rare chance to be in the same elevator with Pastor Peter Tan Chi, senior pastor of CCF ( Christ’s Commission Fellowship), one of the biggest church in the Philippines and a neighboring church of Victory Ortigas and the church where I pastor, Victory Greenhills.
During our short conversation in the elevator, Pastor Peter Tan-chi asked how the church in Greenhills was doing and how I am doing. He then asked me a question that I’d never really thought of: He said, “ What are the challenges you are facing as a pastor?”
Since it was a short elevator ride, I was able to answer only what was on top of my head.
1. The challenge to be a senior pastor.
When I was a youth pastor all I did was think about the students but since taking the role of a senior pastor I cannot just box myself in thinking only of one ministry. A senior pastor has to think of how to run the church, budget financially, encourage his team, pastor his church, disciple the next generation of leaders. You then have to prepare a message, attend meetings, and do some pastoral care duties. Sometimes you wonder what you got yourself into. Not that I’m complaining but it is a fulltime job.
2. Another challenge that a pastor has to face is transferees.
I have nothing against transferees but every church transferee brings with him certain culture and practices he/she got used to in his previous church that he/she wants to carry on to the new church. I myself am a transferee. Victory adopted me as its own but I had to go through years of learning and unlearning some of the things and practices I got used to when I was in my former church.
Here is where leadership is challenged. A senior pastor needs to be firm in what culture he wants the church to embrace. Leaders create culture. If you fail to create the culture in your church, then other people will create that culture for you.
Most of my early challenges dealt with people from other churches who wanted to do things their way but now in the church I am pastoring. There were certain culture and values that I had to guard and that meant talking to some people who wants to lead our church to be discipled. It doesn’t matter if you are a deacon of a church or a former pastor in another church, we introduce and let them go through our discipleship process.
Our pastoral team calls it “INJECTING THE VICTORY DNA”. It does not mean we take pride in our culture but we believe we are called to reach the next generation through discipleship and we value relationships and our main motive is to HONOR GOD and MAKE DISCIPLES.
Some churches have other values and we do believe God called them to be such. Some churches are called to be worship-oriented. Some churches are called to start prison ministries. Some churches are great in having a choir ministry. Some churches are geared toward reaching people in the ARTS. All are good. No church is greater than the other. The central mission of the church is to spread the gospel and God will use churches of different make up to reach that goal.
Now I wasn’t able to say all these things during the 1 minute conversation I had with Pastor Peter Tan-Chi but I believe these are some challenges that a church planter and a pastor might face as they pastor their churches. Also if I was given a minute more, I would ask Pastor Peter the same question….. sayang!!!