The Pastor Is NOT The Church

In the church, we need to care for one another and carry each other’s burdens.  We must remember that we are not Lone Ranger Christians.  We need each other.  When someone is wandering away, we need to look after that person.  Too often, we get this idea that it is the pastor’s job to go chasing after everyone that is straying from the faith.  It is the pastor’s job to carry the burdens of the church members.  It is the pastor’s job to do all of the teaching and instruction.  It is the pastor’s job to do all of the shepherding of the flock.  This is a dangerous model for the church to follow.  It isn’t Biblical, either.
Paul says that it is everyone’s job to carry each other’s burdens.  The burden does not fall on one man.  We should all be looking after one another.  The pastor as sole shepherd does three things:
  • It creates a sinful attitude of pride in the pastor because he wrongly believes that he is the savior of the congregation.  “They need me!”
  • It burns the pastor out because he cannot possibly shepherd everyone in the congregation to the level that is expected. 
  • It makes the congregation dependent on the pastor for all of their needs and they never learn to develop healthy relationships with one another for the purpose of growing spiritually.

What happens when the pastor is called to another ministry?  What happens if the pastor burns out and leaves the ministry altogether?  The congregation then steps up and shepherds one another and carries the burdens of one another just as they’re supposed to!  This is when the church is being the church.  When we look after one another – including the pastor and his family – and we help each other grow in faith and knowledge.  Don’t depend on your pastor for everything.  He is one man and a very flawed one at that.  

Galatians 6:1-6 (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 

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