What Do Pastors Do All Day Long, Anyway?

Posted on November 19, 2013


What do pastors do all day long, anyway?

That’s a question that I’ve gotten a lot over the years. I imagine that the people asking are genuinely wondering if pastors sit in their offices all day engaged in highly intense games of Jenga. While that sounds incredibly fun, that’s not quite what the Bible instructs pastors to do with our days.

I love the way that Eugene Peterson interprets the role of pastors (and other spiritual leaders) in Ephesians 4…

Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ. (The Message)

Now, more than ever, I have found myself full of clarity and passion to “train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work.” As a shepherd, pastor and teacher, I wake up every day with a simple goal in mind as I lead this church: how can I train and equip our community to identify, develop, explore and express their gifts to join Jesus in his work?

Church was never intended to gather around one leader, one personality or a tangible cultural relevance. We gather around Jesus, his story and he invites us into that story. A Christ-centered community is a training ground where shepherds care for their flock, identify gifts and give away ministry. As we give away ministry, it turns out that humans are imperfect and there’s always a mess to clean up somewhere.

What do pastors do all day long, anyway? Among other things, our job is to teach you how to dance rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son…fully alive like Christ.

I love my job. 

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