Ephesians 4 v 11 says "It was given to some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers". I am sure that you all know this scripture well if you're in leadership.
This article is designed towards challenging those who are responsible for appointing and performance managing those in who are in full time paid ministry.
Expectations of our Pastors
What are our realistic expectations towards Pastors when we appoint them then?
There are many churches within the world that employ many full time ministers on a full or part time contract so are our expectations of them, should they just do the set agreed hours and once they have completed these they are free to enjoy to pursue any outside interests they may have or do we realistically expect them to be available 24/7/365 days a year except when they are on annual leave. They say there is no similar unsociable role than the role of a pastor? True? Agree?
On a personal note if someone dies in the family or we have a difficult personal crisis to deal with do we judge their performance on whether they help us in time of need even if that is the middle of the night should they be there for us?
If we are struggling with issues do we expect the Pastor to counsel us, pray with us and practically support us and if they cant, wont or don't do we think they are still value for money or in general what we see of their works within the church and what they do within the community / network of churches they are value for money and represent God well within the church?.
At the end of the day you help pay their wages so surely we are allowed to ask these real and topical, some might say controversial questions of those who God calls to have spiritual leadership to pastor us?
Qualities of potential pastors?
When we appoint new pastors to the church is it right that the whole congregation knows what their God given gifts are publicly at their induction service, what qualifications they have after graduation of bible college, how many people they have lead to the Lord, what their work history has been, how many ministries they have set up and how church growth has increased under their leadership and more so should the whole church know therefore what salary and benefit package i.e. pension, free conferences they are allowed to attend amongst other intrinsic benefits the church as a whole are having to pay that or those ministers and if they are value for money or should this remain confidential with the trustees or eldership?. What are your thoughts?
How accountable are our Pastors for the money congregations pay them?
Should congregations have a break down of an individual minister's salary under charity law or under the churches operational guidelines so everything is in the open?
At AGM's should it be best practice for a Pastor to break down exactly on a pie chart where is spends his time and for the congregation to be able to quiz him or her at an appraisal every 6 months to the decision makers who it is with and the exact amount of time spent to performance manage them and justify the benefit package the church pays for them like in business.
One pastor said to me recently "You will be surprised what we get up to" and then did not specify what they actually do which got me thinking does he hide behind the fact he Pastors a large church and actually does the basics (Finance, being politically correct, lead small group, write a magazine, good quality sermons etc) because people think he is busy with others they don't want to bother the pastor or has a lot of responsibilities and is over worked and stressed and therefore needs to delegate more of his workload to his staff or the volunteers in the church.
We should not be afraid of calling those to account and making sure they work hard fir the church and this is measured through performance management systems.
On an average week compared to what they are employed for how many hours do they actually do and is this productive time spend i.e. evangelism, mentoring people and general duties we associate with the role of a Pastor as indicated in the bible and expanding modern day ministries such as homelessness in their catchments area?.
Pastors are ultimately responsible to God
Ultimately, it will be when those pastors meet their server / maker on judgement day that as James puts it "We who teach will be judged more strictly" and not now when often they try to impress themselves and others with what they have been able to do with their God given gifts they will have to answer whether the work to which they have been tasked with has been acceptable to Almighty God. I pray daily you will seek the will of the Lord and aim to do his will for the churches you serve.
After reading these thoughts have a look at your pastoral team and ask are your pastors worth their money and if hey are not what will you do about it? As you pray I pray God will lead you to a place where it is in the best interest of the church and ultimately God himself and He will judge if your are worthy of his calling!.
If you have any comments, queries or suggestions regarding this article please do not hesitate to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You.