By Ken Blue
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Eph. 4:11-12.
The Pastor is called to the work of the ministry. However, in the minds of many, this work involves doing everything except what God called him to do. Some pastors and their wives think it is their responsibility to be involved in and run every ministry. Thus, they are the roadblocks to the service God has called church members to perform.
The first thing the pastor must do is be clear on what his duties are. The above text says it is to perfect believers. That means to “furnish” or “complete” members so they can do ministry. Pastors are administrators and members are the ministers. The job of the pastor is to train and equip believers for church ministry. You train people, not by indoctrination, but by involvement. Remember, Jesus preached to the multitudes, but he trained the Twelve.
If you are going to recruit someone for ministry, be sure you know all that is required of that ministry, and then put it in writing. If you can’t do that, it indicates you don’t know what you want. Next, pray and think of who would be most probable and dependable for the task. Ask to meet privately with them, and explain what you need. Assure them of your help and support. Give them a week to pray and consider the ministry, and set a date to meet for their decision. The most effective method of recruiting people is in private; the lease effective is to put needs in the bulletin.
You should list each task you are doing that someone else could do, and then look for that person. You should work yourself out of all jobs except what you are called to do. Once you give a ministry to someone, leave them to do it, and don’t ever criticize their efforts. Do not give advice or answers to anyone concerning the ministry of others. Send people to the person in charge of that ministry.
It is very difficult to remain quite or uninvolved when you know you could do better or if you aren’t 100% happy with how they do it. But, you must keep your mouth shut and your hands in your pockets if you want to keep people and let them do the ministry. The sure way to lose workers and members is to micro manage them or take a ministry from them.
If you believe you are the only person who can do it, or if you can’t trust people, you will never develop people. Pastors and their wives who do everything are exhausted and frustrated. Let me say in love and all kindness; the problem is not the people, it is the pastor and his wife. You must learn to train others and then sit down, be quiet, and let them do the ministry.
God did not call you to have your hands in every ministry. You are the “overseer”. Build a fence around every person’s ministry and then stay out of his yard unless there is a house fire. You can do it, if you will. I know of nothing so satisfying as to watch people grow and take charge.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.