…we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9 (NIV)
As a Christian I believe that I was created to worship God. Paul said in Romans 12 that every part of my life is to an act of worship.
A young man in a Sunday night group study responded to my question “What are other forms of worship besides music?” with one succinct word – “Obedience.” He was himself a musician in a praise band. I was the teacher of the group that night and I was struck square in the heart by his answer.
I receive a weekly newsletter from the First United Methodist Church of Pensacola, FL. I am not a member there but have been a visitor on several occasions. I enjoy hearing through newsletters what God is doing through His people in various congregations throughout the world. I find it very encouraging! Dr. Wesley Wachob is the senior pastor at First UMC. He is a very ‘credentialed’ man (you can go to their Pensacola First Church link to read specifics) but I am not mentioning this to qualify his recent newsletter comments but to applaud his comments that are SO on target when I might have anticipated Dr. Wachob to be more ‘dissertation-like’!
… The two most important tasks that I have as the pastor of First Church are 1) to pray, and 2)to read the Bible.
A pastor has many tasks: preaching and teaching the Gospel; administering the sacraments; maintaining the order of the church; visiting and comforting the sick, the suffering, and the bereaved; counseling individuals and families; presiding at weddings; conducting funerals; attending meetings; directing committees; working in the community; etc. But all of the many and very important duties of a pastor suffer and diminish when, and if, either of the two essentials – praying and reading the Bible – is neglected. (Jody’s emphasis)
Having a pastor that puts PRAYER and BIBLE STUDY as THE tasks to do is a comforting, reassuring thing to me. All those other tasks that Dr. Wachob listed are true but MANY of them could and SHOULD be shared (even done!) but gifted non-ordained members of the Body.
preaching and teaching the Gospel –teachers share this
maintaining the order of the church – administrators
visiting and comforting the sick, the suffering, and the bereaved – if a pastor is not gifted in this area there are those who are!
counseling individuals and families – counselors, social workers
attending meetings, directing committees – too many meetings to attend! Send reports!
working in the community – interdenominational work – yea!
Working on committees should entail actual work; not just attendance to tell the paid staff how to do all the jobs of the church. An Evangelism committee is not the group that does all the evangelism but a ‘steering committee’ to organize and empower the church body to do evangelism in their everyday lives.
The Book of Acts describes a Church that utilized ALL its members and their gifts to build God’s Kingdom. (See Acts 2:42 and 6:2 specifically) How did we get so far off Jesus’ track so that now we think that paid staff should do this HUGE list of jobs (whether they are gifted to do it or not!) while we show up two hours per week and reap the harvest?
What are MY two most important tasks as a Christian? If they are the same as Pastor Wachob’s, then my commitment to worship (obedience!) and my expectation of my pastor’s work load may just evolve and get back on Jesus’ track – making the Body of Christ whole and healthy!