Westland United Methodist Church
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The duties that fill a pastor’s life are without question diverse. What’s more, never are two days ever alike. “Variety” is the norm, certainly not the exception.
For examples: pastoral visitation is an absolute must for doing effective ministry, in both homes and hospitals. Attending committee meetings is certainly a major part of any ministry; as is the administrative responsibilities that go with those meetings. Bible studies, sermons and orders of worship must be written and then presented, usually on a weekly basis. Counseling can also be added to the ever-growing list of pastoral duties. Seeking out the un-churched and offering them a church home is a top priority. And if a minister likes music, like I do, rehearsal times must also be scheduled.
The point being, the number of duties that fill a pastor’s schedule are many. They are varied. And yet, there are two aspects of doing ministry that tie everything together. Fact is, they are aspects of ministry that are shared by all, both clergy and laity alike.
At the heart of any ministry is the need to make available to others the presence of God. Christ is offered; and as a consequence, God’s grace is shared. Broken lives are healed. God‘s goodness and greatness are proclaimed.
The other unifying aspect of ministry is just as important. At the heart of any ministry is also the need to hold one another accountable for faith.
Traditionally, and certainly from a Biblical point of view, offering Christ and sharing God’s goodness and greatness are understood to be priestly functions. And of course, Christ is our example; the best of all possible examples. He is our great high priest, the One who shares with others the presence of God. Holding individuals accountable for faith is prophetic. And again, Christ is our example, the best of all possible examples. A prophet encourages others to take faith seriously and to act responsibly on the faith that is claimed.
My prayer, as senior pastor of Westland United Methodist Church, is that our community of faith would be both priestly and prophetic in ministry. Let us help one another recognize the presence of Christ in our lives and then practice Christ’s presence by sharing God’s love with others.