Pastoral Essentails

 In Blog

by Dan Abbatiello  September 19, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes the “minimum daily adult requirements” for a myriad of nutritional factors from vitamin A to zinc and everything in between. This brief article contains a few of my personal observations relative to the minimum daily adult requirements for ministry. While certainly not exhaustive, I believe these elements will help every minister be more effective in the ministry to which they are called.

Preach and teach the BIBLE (Hebrews 4:12)

  • Spiritual growth and maturity stems from interaction with the word of God.
    Expository preaching/teaching yields the best fruit.
  • Preach the “whole counsel” of God not just your preferred themes.
  • Be a responsible steward of the pulpit.
    Do not use the pulpit to “send a message” or correct an individual(s). Correction should be done, personally, privately, respectfully, and directly. Do not use the pulpit to scold the people. Do not use the pulpit to air your personal grievances.

Aggressively pursue the leading of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:1)

  • The Holy Spirit activates and actualizes the word and transforms the heart (John 14:16-26).

Treat everyone respectfully always (1 Thessalonians 5:12-20; 1 Peter 2:17)

  • Eliminate the following: use, manipulation, exploitation, dominance, and control.
  • “Speak the truth in love” always; never play politics or “spin” the facts for your benefit or to make yourself “look good.” People are more perceptive than we think.

Provide leadership (Exodus 18:21; Romans 12:8; 1 Timothy 3:1-7)

In the past one could effectively pastor by simply being a good chaplain whose main purpose was pastoral care. He/She would provide spiritual and emotional support, visit the sick, counsel the downcast and preach a relatively good sermon. Although pastoral care is still important and necessary today, a pastor must lead.

  • Communicate mission/vision effectively.
    Be kind and merciful toward people but uncompromising about fulfilling the mission. When congregants say they are not being “fed” they often mean they are not being led (Psalm 23:2).
  • Believers must be challenged and empowered to be involved in disciple-making ministry.
    Church activities (passing out bulletins, receiving the offering, or parking cars, etc.) although important, are no substitute for authentic person to person ministry.
  • Identify and clearly articulate your philosophy and process.
    People will follow best when they understand why you do what you do, say what you say and decide what you decide.
  • You can control your process not your people.
  • Involve others in decision making since they also must live with the consequences

Practice radical self-honesty (Psalm 139:23-24)

Be a life-long learner (2 Timothy 2:15)

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