What is a pastor for anyway?

I was one, but I must admit, I don’t even know what a pastor is really supposed to do. Which doesn’t really help when you are one. Maybe everyone is different, so it’s different for every pastor. The bible basically just says that pastors are there to care for the flock, so not a lot of help there – which is obvious. We wouldn’t need the holy spirit if the bible laid everything out!

Unfortunately though the current role of pastor is a mixed bag of church tradition, modern-day leadership theory, current management practices, and cultural influences thrown in for good measure. There are so many hats the modern pastor wears, it’s not wonder that schizophrenia sets in sometimes! We are a friend, a brother, a coach, a mentor, a leader, a carer, a counselor, a manager, a visionary, a part-time theologian, administrator, philosopher, follower, a CEO, CFO, fund raiser, missionary, elder, chairman of the board, shepherd of the flock, protector, nurturer, preacher, strategist and most importantly, all round good-guy.

Oh, I forgot to add, we also walk on water and our shit doesn’t stink. Well, according to the congregations expectations anyway.

I mean, I’m getting shaky just looking at that list that came right off the top of my head! How in hell is anyone supposed to fulfill those roles effectively? Seriously, what day of the week can we go home and say “my job’s done for the day, I can relax with my family.”

And how is the average pastor equipped to do all of those things? On average, a lame correspondence ministry or theology diploma, a calling and loads of passion.

I will never be a pastor again. It’s a setup. Destined to fail. Don’t believe me? Every time something good happens, we attribute it to God and only God. Every time something bad happens in the church, it’s the pastors fault, because according to popular leadership theory, the buck stops with the leader, so on that basis, if you’re leading an imperfect church, the imperfections are your fault, not God’s.


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