Priesthood of Believers - Part Two - Drawbacks and Roles of Pastors

My friend leaving the ministry might even be able to do more for God’s kingdom because pastors have some inherent disadvantages due to our position.  One of our main jobs is to write lessons and prepare sermons.  I do that away from people with the hope that the words that I share here in these twenty minutes and eventually post online will empower people like you to bring about God’s will in your world.  A pastor’s normal work week does not put us into contact with people who have not surrendered their life to Jesus like the people we are equipping to do God’s will.  You are on the frontlines, serving God in your places of work, in your homes, and your schools while I sit in a church preparing a sermon and a lesson in the hope that it will help you bring about God’s will in your world.  If you are not bringing about God’s will in the world around you – if you are just going through the motions of church attendance or some other religious rituals, then this is all meaningless, and I am failing at doing this ministry. 

Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians:
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.  Eph 4:11-16 (ESV)

The work of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds (that’s elders), and teachers is to equip those they are ministering - that’s you guys - to do the works of Jesus.  You have a great advantage over us apostles, prophets, and evangelists.  Those of us who are in full-time ministry have inherent disadvantages to transforming those around us because of our position.  People think we are paid to do the things we do.  They act fake around us because we are men of the cloth.  They keep their distance from us in the fear we might see who they really are.  Although I do my best to be involved in the community, the most detrimental thing to the life of a minister transforming the community they minister in is that we don’t work alongside people on the frontlines.  We don’t have work to develop relationships through.  In preparation for ministry, we have been trained how to properly study the word of God and effective forms of communication because one of the main roles of our calling is to teach.  We teach right doctrine so that people will have right living.  You sit through a sermon like this or a lesson like we had earlier, not so you can win some Bible trivia contest or fulfill some religious ritual, you do it so that you can be who God wants you to be in the workplace, in school, and in the neighborhood you live in. 

Paul concluded the section we just read by saying that the leaders equip – you are here to be equipped – so that this church will grow and be built up by us loving one another and those outside the church. 

So we must realize that everyone might not be called to be a lifeguard.  Some are called to be banana salesmen, sunbathers, surfers, sandcastle builders, and more.  We just need to make sure that we are focused on doing God’s will no matter what our second job is because our first job, if we have surrendered our life to Jesus, is to do His will.  A Christian is never unemployed; sometimes the earthly pay just isn’t good, but the spiritual peace of mind is always worth it.  I love being a pastor, but that does mean that my calling is a higher calling than yours.  Each one of us has an important calling.   You are called to be an influence for God wherever you are.