Are Pastors For Preaching? (Or For Facilitating?)

Is the role of a pastor to preach? Well tradition says it is.

But what does the Bible teach about a pastor’s role? Check out Ephesians 4:11-12: “He (Christ) personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints (ordinary Christ-followers) in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ.”

Now I don’t mean to be an agitator, but it looks to me like the Bible teaches that a pastor should be a facilitator — a guide on the side, not a sage on a stage. My conjecture is that biblically a pastor’s job is not to lecture but to be a living lecture–a living demonstration of humility and considering others better than yourself. (See Philippians 2:3.)

Should a pastor be a sage on a stage?  Or a guide on the side?

Should a pastor be a sage on a stage? Or a guide on the side?

It seems to me that according to this verse, the role of a pastor (and other church leaders) is not to preach week after week, but to create a worship environment where there is freedom for ordinary people to get hands on training and practical experience ministering to one another and building one another up.

What do you think?

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
This entry was posted in 5-fold ministry, apest, Ephesians 4, guide on the side, humility, lecture in church, ministry, purpose of a pastor, sage on a stage, spiritual formation, spiritual gifts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Are Pastors For Preaching? (Or For Facilitating?)

  1. I know participatory church works, but ,unfortunately, many pastors are either stuck in tradition or too afraid to move out of it.

    • Steve Simms says:

      Good point, William. We have been so brainwashed over the centuries, that most people can’t even conceive of a church meeting that isn’t centered around one man preaching.

  2. Stan Meador says:

    Well, don’t go half way with it. Do you really see in the New Testament anything akin to what you refer to as “a worship environment”? If you want to return to a bibilical understanding of the role of the pastor you’ll need to return to a bibilical understanding of church as well. That said, I like what you have written here and wish you wisdom and insight on your journey.

  3. Stan Meador says:

    Great text to base from! Of course, our desire should be to get beyond having just 2-3 gathered together, but I am tracking with you here. Our group has 8-14 adults, depending on the week. We’re looking to multiply in the near future. Right now, we’re focusing on getting multiplication in the DNA. Blessings!

  4. oikoskrk says:

    The Church will continue to fail unless they embrace every member ministry and the priesthood of every believer. Good post Steve! Seems our blogs are often running parallel to each other. YOu can find mine @ http://notesfromthebridge.wordpress.com

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