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Gary McIntosh: The Surprising Roles All Pastors Take and the ‘Number One Challenge’ Facing the Solo Pastor

Gary McIntosh
Screenshot from Facebook / @Gary McIntosh

Dr. Gary McIntosh is president of the Church Growth Network and Distinguished Affiliate Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology. He is a former pastor and an internationally known speaker and church consultant who has written numerous books, including “Growing God’s Church” and “The 10 Key Roles of a Pastor.” His latest is, “The Solo Pastor: Understanding and Overcoming the Challenges of Leading a Church Alone.”

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Key Questions for Gary McIntosh

-How do pastors and church staff members understand the roles that God has given them?

-How would you recommend that pastors shore up and build up the skills that they need for the various roles they have to take?

-What advice would you give to pastors about leading well in this time in society?

-What does it mean to be a “solo pastor,” and what are some of the benefits and challenges of that role? 

Key Quotes From Gary McIntosh

“Not surprisingly, the number one place that pastors tend to put their time is in preparation for speaking and teaching, because that’s a lot of what the pastors do, leading Bible studies, preaching on Sundays and that sort of thing…the thing that came in last, which was really surprising to me, was engagement in the community.”

“The big challenge is to lead yourself as a pastor.”

“Pastors have a lot of demands upon their time. They have a lot of expectations on them, whether a megachurch or a little church…and effectiveness and fruitfulness comes down to pastors being able to manage themselves.”

“If you don’t control your time and lead yourself, other people will lead you.”

“If you find yourself in an area where you’re not gifted, you limit yourself to what you do in that area, and you also engage with other people. I believe that God…brings around us enough people with other gifts and that if we’re willing to involve those other people, we can get the job done.”

“Frankly, a lot of pastors still find it difficult to delegate and to give ministry away, particularly in the smaller churches.”