Chuck Lawless is the Dean and Vice-President of Graduate Studies and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also teaches evangelism and missions at SEBTS. If you are not familiar with his blog, you should make yourself familiar with it. The articles he posts are often very informative and helpful. I receive his emails each day and have found them to be a great source of challenge and encouragement. I would encourage you to consider signing up as well. You can do so from the main page of his site.
I found his July 2 article particularly helpful, so I thought I would share it here to make you aware of this particular blog article and the excellent content that Dr. Lawless puts out each day.
Here’s his list of 10 things he would do if pastoring today:
- Call out the called to the pastorate and missionary service. I know we’re all called to do the Great Commission, but I also recognize a unique calling to these positions. As a pastor, though, I waited for folks to come to me if they were thinking about these roles; I did not proactively challenge them to consider God’s calling.
- Share the Lord’s Supper. In the church of my upbringing, we shared the Lord’s Supper once per quarter. Today, I would do it at least monthly, always clearly emphasizing its purpose and its value.
- Preach on giving. My church typically had an annual stewardship emphasis, but I didn’t keep regular giving in front of them. Perhaps if I had, we would not have needed an annual emphasis.
- Fill the baptistry, and explain its purpose. Even if we were not baptizing on a Sunday, I’d use the baptistry to discuss the gospel and challenge Christ followers to follow Him in obedience – all the while explaining that baptism does not save.
- Wash feet. I don’t see this act as an ordinance of the church, but I do see it as an act of public service and humility. Sometimes, a leader simply needs to show his love by serving others.
- Personally evangelize. I did evangelism regularly when I first started pastoring, but I allowed other busyness to get in the way in my latter years of pastoral ministry.
- Invest my time in raising up male leaders. My churches had male leaders, but I wonder how many more we would have had if I had intentionally invested more in the young men of each congregation.
- Invite missionaries to speak. I’m sure I missed opportunities to challenge my members because I failed to connect often with missionaries on stateside assignment. My churches didn’t know enough about God’s global work.
- Take time off. I know now that I would have been a better pastor if I had taken time off regularly to relax and recover. Burnout was always just around the corner for me.
- Teach doctrine. I assumed people would develop a clear biblical theology if they simply attended our small groups and worship services. I was wrong.
Surely this list is not an exhaustive list of all the things that pastors should be doing, but perhaps there are one or two things on this list that stand out to you as things you could and should commit yourself to in your ministry. Use the comments section to share your own thoughts on the list or perhaps add some additional items.