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This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.

If pastors want to see God do more in and through their ministry, they need to take these four actions that move them from a doer of ministry to an equipper of ministry. Every pastor wants to see God do more in and through their church. Their heart aches to see a brighter tomorrow for their ministry. In order for this to happen, church pastors need to transition from being the main doer of ministry and move towards becoming the main equipper of ministry.

You Need to Put on a New Pair of Glasses

Most ministers are working harder than ever before, but getting less done. Most feel tremendously responsible, but don’t know how to get others in the game. Most want God’s best for their congregations, yet they feel inadequate, isolated and acknowledge things are not going well.  Statistics don’t lie. Pastors report being stressed out, bummed out, burned out and are walking out of ministry at unprecedented numbers. Something has to change. Pastors need a new pair of glasses that enable them to gain a new perspective. The old way of seeing ministry and their role in it is no longer working.

You Need to Look in the Mirror

Look in the mirror and admit that there is a problem and the problem might be you. The old paradigm of the pastor as the main doer of ministry is not working. In the pastor-as-doer model, the pastor is the key to all effective ministry. Everything important revolves around him and nothing happens without his presence and permission. He is the indispensable force and the irreplaceable center. He is the prayer, teacher, discipler, counselor, helper, preacher, preparer, caretaker… you name it, he does it. The pastor is the center and the focus. That’s the problem–one person can’t and was never meant to be all those things.

Resistance is often the problem. It is interesting that when pastors see resistance in their people they get frustrated, but they often ignore it in themselves. If pastors want God to do more in their churches they need to deal with their own resistance and move from a doer of ministry to an equipper of ministry.

You Need to Go Back to the Original

God hasn’t left pastors in the dark as to what he wants from them. God clearly gives a pastor’s job description in Ephesians 4:11.

Ephesians 4:11-12 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ

Pastors were never called or commissioned to be the doers of ministry. Pastors were called and commissioned, by Christ himself, to be the equippers of ministry. The pastor as the equipper and not the doer of ministry is Jesus’ idea; it’s his executive decision. Ephesians 4:11 tells us very clearly what our job description is and what it is not. Pastors are the equippers and the people are the doers of ministry. The pastor’s job isn’t to frantically fill slots each week, it’s to equip people.  The pastor’s job  is to help the people do their job! It isn’t to do their job for them!

You Need a Different Scorecard

If pastors are going to see God do more in and through their churches then they need a different scorecard that helps them evaluate true success. Under the new scorecard,  success is defined by how effective people are in ministry and not just the pastor. A win happens when people are leading ministries and not just the pastor. Triumph occurs when a pastor has more joy in how others are doing in ministry, than how he is doing in  ministry. Victory occurs when the team wins and not just the pastor.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. How much time in your week is spent on your preparation for ministry and how much is spent on preparing others to lead ministry?
  4. How many people have you recruited, trained and unleashed for ministry this year?
  5. How many ministry teams do you have in your church?
  6. If you left your church- would things fall apart or implode because everything goes through you? Explain.
  7. Would your congregation describe you as the controller of ministry or the equipper and empowerer of ministry?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.