How is the ministry of every pastor truly shaped and evaluated today? If we are not careful, giving ourselves completely to “just” shepherding our God-assigned flock and community is considered not enough. We tend to need a blog (me too, if I’m not careful), book tour, podcast, side hustle, or other platform-building add-on to feel validated while in the ministry. When, dearly beloved pastor, nothing could be further from the truth!

Here are a few thoughts from a wide range of perspectives that should encourage us to all be more than content in our capacity as a dedicated, focused pastor that can but doesn’t “have” to add anything to our profile to feel significant and fulfilled in the Lord’s calling for our life:

  1. “The vocation of pastor(s) has been replaced by the strategies of religious entrepreneurs with business plans.” (Eugene Peterson)
  2. “Please don’t bash small churches. Sometimes the pastor has to pick up people, set up chairs, empty the trash, lead worship, preach, and work the altar. That takes just as much energy, if not more, as pastoring hundreds or thousands. Let’s build each other up, not tear each other down.” (Jay Patrick)
  3. “Influence isn’t the goal and should never be. Being an effective, humble churchleader who helps your congregation achieve its mission is the goal.” (Cary Nieuwhof)
  4. “The day of the superstar pastor is over.” (John Wimber)
  5. “Healthy churches are green pastures where God’s sheep can thrive” (What’s bigger than that?). (Cary Schmidt)
  6. “In a smaller church, your pastoring sets up your preaching. In a larger church, your preaching sets up your pastor.” (Tim Keller)
  7. “The local church embodies God’s process of communicating truth to human hearts—His way of helping every individual know how to live, how to have joy, and how to know Christ. Through the local church, the Word of God is connected to needy hearts. Men and women become children of God. Husbands and wives discover how to love and care for each other as Christ does the church. Dads and moms discover how to nurture and train up their children in the ways of Scripture. Young men and young ladies grow up in the knowledge of Christ, established upon the strong foundation of His truth. Without the church, these things just don’t happen anywhere else in today’s culture.” (Paul Chappell)
  8. “Pastors, our ultimate aim isn’t the conference circuit, but the counseling room, the hospital bed, the graveside, the local church, being faithful in the daily little things, the ordinary life of a servant.” (Burk Parsons)
  9. “‘How’s your brand?’ – questions Jesus never asks.” (Sammy Rhodes)
  10. “One of the most important discoveries I have ever made is this truth: God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in him. This is the motor that drives my ministry as a pastor. It affects everything I do.” (John Piper)
  11. And lastly, this stirring video clip from Voddie Baucham:

Photo by Michal Matlon on Unsplash