Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What Does a Pastor Do?

Someone recently asked me, "What does a pastor do?" Here are some of my thoughts and the beginning of an answer...

First I am a minister of Word and Sacrament. That means that I must speak God's Word when no one else will. I must also baptize those new to the church, break the bread and pour the wine, and pray for my people. God calls me to build up his church.

I visit parishoners in their homes or at work. I make hospital and emergency visits. I study Scripture and theology. I write. I help with a variety of ministries--as a coach, as a resource person, or as an extra pair of hands. I teach, preach, and lead worship. I volunteer in the community. Finally, I attend tons of meetings.

Every week is a little different especially if there is an emergency. A funeral may mean that I will be with the family for long stretches. I may have little time to do anything else.

A pastor friend says that we are professional lovers. (I know that sounds strange.) A pastor loves the Lord and shares that passion with the congregation through sermons and lessons. A pastor is also around for the most of the important events of life--birth, graduation, wedding, crisises, death. All of these occasions are opportunities to share God's love with others. We are called to love our parishoners and walk with them through life being a constant witness to Jesus Christ.

Where others may be unable or unwilling, we must ask, "What is God up to in this situation?"

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