Public relations. This part of a pastor’s role is increasing daily. The days when a Sunday announcement or bulletin announcement would get the word out to the church are gone. With so many mediums to communicate and people’s divided attention among them—not to mention the frequency of attendance for many in the church—communicating to people has become a huge challenge for pastors.
There’s my list. I’m sure there are others. And it’s a labor of love—certainly of calling—for most pastors I know, but it requires more than preaching.
And I didn’t even mention politician.
Granted, the size of the church will often determine the amount of time spent on any one of these. But, except in exceptionally larger churches, the pastor wears multiple hats. Certainly more than a Sunday job. And many pastors, myself for one, spend up to half or two-thirds of our week preparing for Sunday.
It should also be noted (and this is an edited addition resulting from a comment)—the pastor shouldn’t do ALL of this. I spend much of my energies helping pastors learn to be better leaders, which ultimately means learning to delegate. I believe in the Acts 6 and Jethro models of pastoral leadership.
Thankfully, I serve in a church where most of these tasks are primarily assigned to other staff members for direct oversight. I actually had other pastors in mind when I wrote this more than myself. But, in all of these roles, at some level, in most churches, they are under the pastor’s purview. If there is a need for or problem with one of them, the pastor will be looked to to ensure it is addressed. Therefore, whether or not the pastor does all of these personally, there is a level of responsibility. To ignore this and point to an “ideal” job description of a pastor would be naive, in my opinion.
One final thought: now that you know a bit more about the role of a pastor, imagine how that plays out for bi-vocational pastors. Say an extra prayer for those pastors.
Pastors, any other roles we serve?
This article on the role of a pastor originally appeared here, and is used by permission.