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This topic is adapted from the 365 Bible YouTube channel.

Pastors are some of the busiest leaders. They may have wide-ranging responsibilities. Even expectations can be varied, creating a crisis of overwhelming proportions. It is imperative for every pastor to establish personal priorities. The best example of what those priorities should be is seen in the life of Jesus.

Follow Jesus’s Model of the Basics

There was no one busier than Jesus. Every day he was challenged with a sinful world that needed the message of God’s redeeming love. He faced the crippled, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the demon-possessed, even the dead. In every circumstance, no matter the situation, Jesus was looked to for a supernatural resolution.

Today’s pastor is expected to fill many roles.  He is to be the face of the church to the community. There is the expectation that the finances of the church, condition and upkeep of the church building and/or facilities will be overseen by the pastor. The implementation of new programs, as well as maintaining existing programs, are all assumed pastoral responsibilities.

Preaching

Preaching was one of Jesus’s main tasks. In Matthew chapters 5-7, the gospel writer provides an account of Jesus’s preaching known as the Sermon on the Mount. Two chapters later, in Matthew 9, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages…preaching.” It may seem obvious, but a pastor needs to remember that preaching is a priority.

Prayer

Prayer, the giving of one’s self to God, was the second basic priority for Jesus. He often went off alone to be able to spend time in the Father’s presence. These prayer times strengthened him, empowering him to better serve and pastor others. We see this in Mark 1 and Luke 5.

Disciple-Making

Jesus provides the model for every pastor by making time for one of the most basic aspects of the Christian life: disciple-making. In the John chapters 13-17, we see the intentional nature of Jesus’s disciple-making. He gives disciple-making a great deal of time so that we, too, have insight into making disciples.

Disciple-making should be a regular priority of pastors. By intentionally making-disciples, others will see you exercise this priority and, in turn, will follow your example and your lead. Others, too, will commit and exercise disciple-making, joining you in building God’s kingdom.

[Related: Making Disciples: Culture Before Structure]

If you are feeling challenged by all the expectations and challenges of leading a church, don’t be led to establish alternative priorities. Follow Jesus and the examples he gave for pastoral priority: preaching, prayer, and disciple-making.

Written content for this topic by David Bassett.

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. Give examples of priorities that you have embraced that are outside of these three basic ones. Why have you embraced these priorities?
  4. In what ways are these other priorities keeping you from making the basic ones your focus?
  5. If you are not already disciple-making on a weekly basis, how can you begin?
  6. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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