In my last blog post, I began to detail what successful pastors desire. Today I’m continuing that train of thought.
So, what do successful pastors desire?
1. A successful pastor desires for his flock to be healthy and grow. He understands that when he was called to the congregation as its pastor, he was called to be its shepherd. God looks at him and says, "I am holding you responsible to provide leadership and oversight to My people." Just as a shepherd cares for his flock of sheep, a pastor cares for his flock of believers.
So, what kind of growth is the mark of a healthy church? First, it should be growing spiritually. This is a direct result of sound biblical preaching and discipleship. It should also be growing numerically. Until every community is totally saturated with the Gospel and every person has been reached, churches should be growing numerically. Successful pastors prioritize reaching lost people. What gets prioritized gets done. If no one is coming to faith in Christ, it is because it is not a priority. A church should also be growing relationally. Jesus said, "by this will all men know you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). Every successful pastor desires for his people to love and be loved. He also wants his congregation to grow in its influence. We are told that we are salt and light. Successful pastors want their church to make a difference in the world!
2. A successful pastor desires to build a high impact staff and leadership team. He wants to equip believers to be effective in ministry. He works to make each one maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. He works to make sure that each person is working in their areas of passion and giftedness. He works to ensure that each person understands his or her job, has the resources to fulfill his or her job, and has the freedom to pursue his or her goals. He gives them the freedom to fail, but not the freedom to fail massively. He is constantly pointing his leadership to the things that are of first importance. As a leader of leaders, he is responsible for defining reality and making sure everyone understands their part in the big picture.
3. A successful pastor desires to expand his influence and his impact. He understands the importance of reproducing himself. He knows that what he does is a direct result of who he is. He works at his relationship with the Lord. He works at his ministry responsibilities. He understands the biblical principles of sowing and reaping, and walking by faith. He prays that God would provide open doors of opportunity. He prays that God would give him insight into what the needs of his flock and community are. He looks to see where people are hurting and expends the effort to minister to the hearts of the people. He works to share with others what God has taught him. He networks with others to make a collective difference.
4. A successful pastor desires to fulfill the Great Commission in his generation. It is true that God's workmen die, but His work continues. Because of this the successful pastor lives in light of the truth that his opportunity is brief. So, he does all he can while he can. He constantly reflects Moses' admonition, "Lord, teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). He understands that because everyone dies, everyone needs to hear the Gospel. Everyone needs the opportunity to respond to the invitation of Christ. Everyone needs the opportunity to hear the claims of Christ and have their sins forgiven. He is passionate about taking the Gospel to the lost world.
5. Finally, a successful pastor desires to receive his Master's reward for faithful service. It is amazing to me how often Jesus spoke of rewards. Repeatedly in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "and He who sees in secret will reward you openly." The Bible promises a reward for those who have been faithful. Paul noted that "it is required of stewards that one be found faithful." In several parables, the point is that the servant (or steward) be faithful, and upon the Master's return hears the commendation, "well done good and faithful servant." Every successful pastor desires to hear that same commendation when he steps into the presence of The Lord. "Well done good and faithful servant."
These are some of the things that I believe successful pastors desire. What do you think?
If you missed them, take a look at my other posts on successful pastors: