While the call to be a pastor is consistent, not much else about pastors is the same. They come from all backgrounds, in a rainbow of colors, in male and female varieties, in an assortment of personalities, and with a wide range of gifting. Despite high-profile exceptions, most pastors are not extroverted, multi-gifted, visionary superstars. That is not God’s design.
Working with whatever God-given combination of temperament, abilities, knowledge, interests, quirks, and flaws has been bequeathed to them, pastors have a clear and specific assignment—to “prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up . . .” (Ephesians 4:12)
In actual practice, this is not simple. The work involves mobilizing people to lead worship, care for people, unravel problems, organize for effectiveness, reach out to the unchurched, teach new and mature believers, deal with conflict, handle finances, and make sure the church facility is clean and in good repair.
So the wise pastor does not attempt to “do it all.” Instead, the pastor concentrates on personal strengths, natural and acquired, and puts them to work. And the pastor enlists the help of ministry partners—sometimes staff, most often volunteers—with complementary and supplemental strengths and skills.
This shifts the focus from the pastor’s particular contributions to the shared ministry of a “pastor plus” team and, striving together, to the work of strengthening the life and witness of the whole congregation—which, by design, is what God intends for his Church.