God gave His Church leaders for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:11, 12, 14).
Pastors are spiritual leaders, but we often expect material effort and benefits from them.
The Bible defines the pastor’s role in two ways. First, he provides believers with the tools for the work of ministry. The work of ministry isn’t what we pay the pastor to do, it’s what we do for others in Christ’s name. Sunday isn’t like a football game with the pastor entertaining a crowd. At best, he’s a coach training us to play. The clergy serves the church by presenting the Word of God; believers serve by ministering to one another.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Second, the pastor ministers to edify the body of Christ. The word edify means to build up, encourage. The goal in edification is spiritual maturity, reaching the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Becoming more Christlike is the result of healthy spiritual food. Spiritual babies need the elementary milk of the Word to grow, the mature need God’s meat to be sustained (Hebrews 5:12, 13)
Equipping and edification are the result of the Holy Spirit working through God’s Word as it is taught. God’s Word must be carefully prepared and presented as God gave it to us. The more we are taught the truths of the Scripture, the less like spiritually immature children we are, caught up in fads, easily confused and distracted, and tossed around by ideas not in the Word of God.
Pastors: give your full attention to reading the Scripture, to preaching the Word, to teaching doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you …. (1 Timothy 4:13, 14).