Now, nothing that follows should be interpreted to encourage pastors to become bullies or know-it-alls. Scripture teaches servant-leadership, as exemplified by the Lord Jesus in John 13. However, our burden here is those pastors who are passive and hesitant to take a strong stand with their people, church leaders and their staff.
“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly; not for dishonest gain but eagerly; not as being lords over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock” (I Peter 5:2-3).
You are responsible to the Lord for the flock, pastor. Numerous scriptures make that plain.
Some will not like that.
Some will accuse you of being heavy-handed.
Some in the congregation will insist that “we too are holy.” I suggest you agree with them, and then direct them to two passages of Scripture: to Numbers 12 where Aaron and Miriam tried that little ploy on Moses, and to Numbers 16 where certain “men of renown” (said with all seriousness!) said the same thing to Moses. In each case, the results were disastrous.
No amount of Bible study should dissuade a God-called servant of the Lord from believing that the Lord has made pastors the “overseers” (episkopoi) of His church. See I Peter 5:2-3 and Acts 20:28 for starters.
—Therefore, let the pastor lead.
—Let the pastor take a strong leadership position with his ministerial staff. The carnal will resent it but the godly will welcome it. (The carnal have no business in leadership anyway, so your leadership will begin the process either to call them to repent or to force them out.)
—Let the pastor take a strong leadership position with the lay leaders of the congregation.
—Let him show the Lord’s people how to lead from a servant position—“not lording it over them” (I Peter 5:3), but “being examples to the flock.”
The pastor must not fear the consequences or how people will react to his leadership.
He must not fear to lead, to make decisions.