A Unique Perspective On The Role Of Pastors In Effecting Church Mission.

So there’s a slight shift in the thinking of some of my ministerial colleagues that asserts an intriguing premise about church structure and mission. I’m sure by now you’ve probably either heard it or even thought about it yourself. It is this: we tend to engage mission on the premise that the local church is the primary place where mission takes place. This premise, almost by mistake, accentuates a very interesting point.

Even in spite of the current organizational and leadership structure of the Adventist church, it seems that the greatest autonomy and the greatest power to effect missiological maxims does not lie in what most consider the upper echelons of our ecclesiastical structure. It is not with local Conference administration, or with Union, Division, or General Conference administration. I may be wrong, but as far as denominationally employed workers go, it seems to me that the greatest measure of world changing force lies at the feet of the creative, passionate, praying and industrious local pastor.

The Pastor. He or she marshals the forces on the front lines. The Pastor may still pick and pitch battles at will regardless of resources. Foot soldiers that the Pastor doesn't have, the Pastor recruits without waiting for reinforcements that must be voted and approved and paid for by headquarters. The Pastor makes bricks with no straw, and the executive committee doesn't have to approve what kind of mortar is used. The Pastor makes the disciples who make disciples. The Pastor shepherds sheep that produce sheep. The Pastor’s voice is the most consistent continuum trumpeting the message of the mission week after consistent week in the community and from the pulpit. The Pastor, being Spirit filled is Spirit led and thereby leads ministries as widely varied as are the needs of the community. Even when the Pastor begins without resources, the Pastor’s prayer and faith and industry can create those resources, which with good leadership and foresight will remain predominantly under the Pastor’s control and direction.
I know that all or most of you could go on. However, my point is this; when we come to recognize mission for what it is and where it happens most effectively, then I submit, that the adventurous among us, the courageous among us, the daring among us, the insanely mission-minded among us, the best of us, are not those who seek the padded pugilism proffered by political pandering for "advancement" up the ecclesiastical ladder to missiological impotence, but they are those among us, who seek to pastor.
I want good presidents, but we need great pastors.  

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