Dennis McBride

I believe that the highest goal of everything is to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31). Toward that end, the local church exists for three primary purposes: worship (Ps. 150), edification (1 Cor. 14:26; Heb. 10:23-24), and evangelism (Matt. 28:19-20). Those should also be the priorities of individual believers.

The local church gathers for corporate worship and mutual edification (Acts 2:42), then disburses for evangelism and to be salt and light to the world (Matt. 5:13-16). That by no means eliminates the need for evangelistic preaching, but the priority must be teaching believers to love God more deeply and serve Him more effectively. Evangelism, along with every other aspect of ministry, flows out of that priority.

The biblical model for spiritual leaders is servant-leadership: men who are yielded to God’s will and serve Him as shepherds of His flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2-4) and stewards of His truth (1 Cor. 4:1-2).

The Pastor-Teacher’s primary role is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12). That involves modeling spiritual virtue (1 Tim. 4:12), praying (1 Tim. 2:1-8), teaching biblical truth (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 16), and discipling believers (2 Tim. 2:2). Those must occur within a context of mutual love and accountability (1 Thess. 2:8). If a congregation doubts their Pastor’s love, his teaching will be ineffective. If they doubt his integrity, his teaching will seem hypocritical.

From that biblical model flows the priorities I believe are crucial for a Pastor:

1. To set an example of godliness and call others to that standard (1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Cor. 11:1)

2. To be devoted to prayer and the ministry of God’s Word (Acts 6:2-4)

3. To preach and teach the Word expositionally and authoritatively (Acts 20:27; 1 Tim. 4:13-16; 2 Tim. 4:1-2)

4. To disciple the staff and lay-leadership (2 Tim. 2:2)

5. To counsel individuals

6. To encourage missions and evangelism outreach (Acts 13:2-3)

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