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  • Writer's pictureNeil Redenbaugh

The Purpose of a Pastor

And Christ gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” Ephesians 4:11-12

Pastor Steve Luxa comes back from his 3-month sabbatical next week! He’ll be around the office starting Monday, and then he’ll join us all on Sunday July 31. Look forward to some updates from Steve in the coming weeks!

To help us get ready for the return of our Senior Pastor, let me share with you five biblical points about what it means to be a pastor. There are more biblical points that we could reflect on of course, but these five are some of the most essential.

1. God gives pastors to equip us. God gives. It’s not just our search committee and our elder board who give us pastors. God gives pastors. And there is something for each of us to learn from the different types of people God chooses to give us to be our pastors. We sometimes critique our pastors and sometimes praise our pastors, but the most important thing for each of us to reflect on is, “why has God given this particular person to be our pastor?”

2. God gives pastors to equip us. Pastors. Not CEOs or COOs or any other C-Suite leader. Not always world-class preachers or dynamic entrepreneurs or tweetable celebrities (though some pastors are). But pastors who do everything they can to help us individually and communally gather around Jesus Christ and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what your pastors are doing.

3. God gives pastors to equip us. To equip us. This means to give us what we need, prepare us, get us ready, coach us, support us, follow up with us. For what purpose? The next point reveals the answer. But first, notice that Jesus didn’t say He gives us pastors to entertain or please or impress us. Pastors are here to equip.

4. God gives pastors to equip His people for works of service. Pastors aren’t the special people who get to work most closely with God to serve and bless the world. You are. You are the special people who get to work most closely with God in the particular ways that are unique to your God-given wiring and passion. God has “works of service” for you to do that will bring you joy and bless others deeply. Pastors are just here to equip you. To say this another way, our church is not all about what the pastors are saying and doing; our church is all about what you all are saying and doing. Yes yes, our church is chiefly about what God is saying and doing, but Ephesians 4:11-12 makes the important point that church is not all about the pastor. It’s about all of us gathering around Jesus Christ and living in the power of the Holy Spirit.

5. God gives pastors to equip us, but don’t think that the only pastors God gives are the ones whom we pay and give official titles to. Many of you have the gift of being pastors. In fact, many of you also have apostolic, evangelistic, prophetic, and teaching gifts. I’d love to explain this more another time – this has profound implications for our church! But my point here is that the paid staff are not the only ones with Ephesians 4:11-12 gifts. God has given them to you too!

Steve is coming back from sabbatical next week, Derek is heading out on sabbatical the week after, and our community needs each of us, each of you, to use our God-given gifts to bless our church and to bless our world.

Looking forward to this new season with Steve back in our community!

Your brother in Christ,

Neil Redenbaugh

Adult and Family Pastor



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