By Benjamin F. Reid
The pastor must not be a person who simply presides as a benevolent, kindly referee over a multitude of squabbling children.
The pastor must lead! He or she must develop firmness with love but must sense where the Spirit is leading and then call upon the saints to follow. The pastor must be both prophet to proclaim the will of God and overseer to coordinate all aspects of the church’s life and to channel its varied energies toward the accomplishment of God’s purposes.
The pastor must be lovingly critical of officers who do not do their jobs and helpfully instructive in order to help those officers. The pastor must be firm, demanding that other leaders lead and that they—not the pastor—do their jobs. The pastor must be intolerant of those who are unable to work together in the common cause and for the common good. No selfish person can be allowed to hinder the whole cause of God. The pastor must console and give support to weak members but must not permit any member to become a spiritual cripple.
Vision is important—not only vision of where the church is—but also vision of where God wants it to go. There must be insight to discern what God wants the church to be doing. The pastor must have knowledge of the divine resources available so that the church can accomplish its task. Future challenges, future growth, future opportunities for service are to be planned, and while other say, “It cannot be done,” the pastor must lead the church into doing it.
He is God’s man for God’s moment; she is God’s woman for God’s moment! The pastor cannot grow bitter when hurt nor strike back in anger when attacked. He or she must know many secret sins and secret faults without growing cynical. A pastor must give the best possible and yet never grow proud. Visionless brothers and sisters may oppose plans and yet pastoral reaction must never grow vindictive or vicious. Loving without lust, praying without ceasing, working without growing weary in well-doing, the pastor can never yield to a persecution complex nor waste precious time in pity of self.
The pastor must be God’s man or woman for God’s moment!
Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Reid wore many hats in ministry, including dynamic senior pastor of First Church of God in Los Angeles/Inglewood, California, which he served from 1971 until 1996, and president of the National Association of the Church of God. This article was originally published in the April 20, 1980, issue of Vital Christianity. Republished by permission. Across the United States and around the world, God is on the move in the Church of God. Join the movement. Give life! Donate today at give.jesusisthesubject.org.