The joke is often made that pastors only work one day a week. The reality is pastors have multiple responsibilities that they should be doing throughout any given week. Here is a partial list just off the top of my head:
- Lead / Oversee
- Leadership Development
- Family Time
- Date Night
- Practice Hospitality
- Follow up
- Meet with members for various different reasons
This doesn't even include answering emails, writing, reading, or a myriad of other things that can keep them busy.
But the question remains: What are a pastor's main job responsibilities? While the answer is all of the above, it all starts with this:
"But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4 (ESV)
As a pastor, if I'm not devoted to prayer and the ministry of the Word personally, then my ministry will lack the power to be productive and fruitful. It's in my time with the Lord that I gain the necessary wisdom required to do all the other things. While this may sound like a "no-brainer", I know for myself, as well as other pastors, there is a temptation to move this to the back burner in order to get other things done. This may work short term (not well of course), but soon we will find that we are trying to minister from an empty cup with nothing to give.
It's from our communion with God, through these two ordinances, that our kingdom endeavors are sanctified and blessed by God with His power. It is through prayer and through the Word that are fitted and furnished with the things required to fulfill our calling. In order to be used by God, to be His mouth piece to His people, we must be fueled by our communion with Him. This is where the power is, the power that brings about real change through the transformative power of the gospel.
So, this is what should define pastoral responsibility: being devoted to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Not just talking about it, but actually doing it. This is what will edify the church and grow the kingdom.
Brother pastors, be in the Word. Be in prayer. Be there early. Be there often. Then watch what God does.