“I believe a pastor must have a clear view of the mission and all else is done in light of that mission. He must take his flock in the exact same direction. Jesus had small “skirmishes” on the way to Calvary as we will between now and the day we die. Those skirmishes must be smaller battles making up the overall war winning strategy. I believe the pastor helps to guard against battles that don’t serve the war.” – Tally Clower
My friend Talley, who I am quoting above, says it really well. Talley captures the big picture nicely. It’s easy to major on the details of a larger campaign as the totality of pastoral ministry. Again, we will look at those “battles” and “skirmishes” in the context of the “overall war winning strategy” soon. But, as Talley so aptly puts it, the pastor must have a clear view of the mission so that all else is done in light of that mission.
Here we go. I’m laying my ace down now. What is the church’s mission that the pastor must have a clear view of so that the battles and skirmishes are fought rightly? It is the fame of Jesus in completing the task he left us called “The Great Commission.” In other words it’s the Gospel rightly proclaimed and heard in the work of the Gospel among every people group on the planet. Jesus is the only God, and he is to be worshiped by all nations on his planet. He is not a tribal deity so as to only focus on one’s local context.
The pastor’s primary aim of preaching must be Jesus’ person and work among all nations launched from their current locale. If pastors bypass the fame of Jesus globally for the upkeep of their local pastorate, they are short selling the Gospel. Period. I made the following statement Sunday from the context of Nehemiah, where we at TRCC have been studying:
“Pastoral compensation should be for the global work of God and not the upkeep of an organization designed to cater to the wants of comfortable people.” – Me
Pastors getting paid to keep up the local ministry with no PERSONAL stake in the global are pimping the Kingdom of God out to their paid boys and girls.
If a pastor has not and will not put his life on the line for the fame of Jesus among the unreached of the globe (by the way that is the proper definition of missions) he fails to be a pastor and is no more than a leader of a civic organization.
So, dialogue with me. The implications to this are astounding, and will be unpacked over the next few blogs. This may test the courage of some pastors and make some angry. So be it. Argue with Jesus if you want. Let the fun begin!
“Pastoral compensation should be for the global work of God and not the upkeep of an organization designed to cater to the wants of comfortable people.”
This is huge.
Well said Mitch.
Reading this sparked my memory of the question young David asked to his brothers, King Saul and an entire army “Is there not a cause?”. Sometimes I believe we lose sight of the fact that we are in a global battle and that there are souls that are in need of being ministered to and to hear someone with enough backbone to preach the gospel to them no matter what the cost. Mitch I believe you are opening a can of worms that has been kept closed in our generation and honestly your words have really inspired me to look at myself and examine to be sure I am doing everything He wants and needs me to be doing. Honestly shouldn’t we Pastors be a true example of fishers of men not just keepers of the aquarium?
Strongh stuff Mitch…When we start running our churches as businesses instead of as missions we turn our leaders into “CEOs” ,our volunteers into “employees” , our members into “customers” and divert our resources from advancing the Kingdom to sustaining the infrastructure. We start measuring success with numbers and dollars instead of measuring our success by our level of obedience to God. There’s the reason that with 300+ churches in this county, 80K people are still either lost or un-churched.
“PERSONAL stake in the global (mission)” can you explain what this looks like, in genral and in your own minstry?
There will be more in future blogs, but for right here sure. 1. making sure I know unreached people groups and their ranking in regard to never having heard the gospel and hardest place http://www.joshuaproject.net 2. Leading a church to adopt the hardest 3. committing that churches resources to seeing the work of the gospel take root into indigenous and self sustaining churches that also go to unreached people groups (UPG’s) 4. personally going and benefiting the work in that place 5. architecting a church budget to fund such a work 6. working in addition to the church so that church funds are getting this work done
For the sake of security I can’t name our UPG on this blog. Our people live there and are in harms way every day and on a full-time basis. Our other folks who are here go short term to help the work go forward
Also, given that the great commision was given to all Christians, and making the name of Jesus great is also for every christian to do, what is a pastor and how is that different from the role every christian is called to?
The pastor should be the lead goer and sender by initiating the work and continually preaching the gospel applied in a global context. Not many Sundays pass that I and our other pastors don’t keep this in front of our people. People will forget, so I can never forget. I have to keep up with the economic, political and personal cost of that region and keep that in front of our people. I have to be always noticing how local gifting can and must be employed in our UPG and our pastors must be training them to use their skill in these hard places by knowing how to use their skill there.
Ground this in scripture for me. Preaching the gospel, yes, but the other parts not so clear, how that would come out of the text.
Thank you, that is very helpful as well as good for my thinking. 2 Follow up’s;
1) Do you place as much emphasis, time, on going out to the lost locally, Rome,(even though the gospel is established in some way here)as you do to the UPG? why?
2) Do you think it would be a more biblical model for there to be more bi vocational Pastors who’s salary could be used for international missions? (which would include 90% of the pastors I know in Rome.)
Waiting up for the tumble dryer to finish, and brain has lot’s of questions. How do you apply 1 Timothy 5:17-18 into what you say about pastors being paid full time? Or 1 Corinthians 9: 3-5, which lets us know it should cover the cost of our wives not working too. Titus 2:5 takes this concept to the stage where I women should be working in the home, therefore a husbands wage should cover all the costs of living. So to take what you say means for you to be paid enough to cover all your financial needs. I’d need a well paid job to pay enough, and still give me the time to study and teach the word.
David Platt: An Unadjusted Gospel in an Unreached World: Connecting Gospel Theology with Urgent Missiology
The best I’ve heard on this issue
Great questions John. They will be addressed in upcoming blogs, so keep reading. I will hit one either today or tomorrow. Basically it is the implication of command of Jesus to disciple the nations. How does one do that? They have to know what the nations are, and how to get there. Is this a job for missionaries only or the whole church? What if the local church was the missionary?