The Roles of a Pastor in a Local Church
Understanding the roles of a pastor in a local church will help you to build a better relationship with your pastor, and it will also foster a better trust in him as he labors for the Lord.
The pastors are called different names in the Bible.
As a Pastor, it means a shepherd
As a Bishop, it means a leader
As an Elder, it means a counselor
Many church members do not understand that being a pastor is more than preaching to you, but pastors do have more other things that they do as they lead the church of God.
Therefore, I will be sharing with you some of the roles of a pastor in the passage, and also we will be looking at other Bible passages to show us the roles of a pastor in a local church.
1. Pastor feeds you with the Word of God.
God’s primary work for pastors is for him to feed the flock of God with knowledge of God, and understanding of His will. A pastor does not invent own his way, nor should he give his own feed, but the right word of God as described by the chief shepherd.
God desires that you understand him, and his plan for your life, he uses the word of God to feed you with his knowledge, and because of the knowledge of God, you will be able to serve him better.
Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Jesus said to Peter in John 21…”Feed my lambs…”
Joh 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
Joh 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Joh 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
As your pastor here, I am here to feed you with the word of God, and not to entertain you, and one of the things you must understand is this, sheep must come to the shepherd for feeding.
Many Christians are not getting fed today because they have different appetites and wrong desires.
Greater Joy in the Heart of a Faithful Servant
When you do not come to the dinner table which is the house of God, you will make the feeding so difficult for the pastor to do. Many of us are not faithful to the house of God, and that is really affecting our spiritual life.
Many are suffering from spiritual malnutrition because they are not getting fed with the Bible on daily basis.
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Jer 23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
When the leaders were given to the church, and Apostle was telling the church about the reason for these men in the church, let’s look at the Scripture.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
2. Pastor Oversees the church of God
“Taking the oversight thereof”
What does that mean?
It means to oversee and look diligently. The pastor is not overseeing, watching, and managing the building, but the people in the building. He looks diligently at the people that he is leading.
He checks whether they are getting fed, growing, serving, and many more. He checks for inconsistency among them and watches every affair of the church.
And that is why we reject the idea of a general overseer, it is never found in the Bible. There is no overseer of churches in the Bible because you can only oversee one church at a time.
The church’s pastor is the general overseer of the church and not some man somewhere that does not have any contact with any church members.
How should he oversee them?
Members should make it easy for the pastor to oversee them.
The pastor should oversee them willingly, being a pastor is not what can be forced on anyone, because if you do it out of compulsion, you will get discouraged and get out.
You should not do it for the sake of money, and greediness. Shepherd should not fest on the sheep, but should do it because it is rewarding work. The pastor’s primary aim should never be for money, and what he can get out of the ministry, but how he can serve the people.
1Co 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
He should not be authoritarian in his leadership, if you don’t like what I do here, get out, it is my church. But pastors should lead by example, I am called to be an example to you that follow me.
Leadership by example is the best way to lead the church of God.
2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
3. Pastor is a WatchMan
A watchman tells people the dangers he sees to the people. That is exactly one of the roles of a pastor. He warns you, and it is now up to you to heed the warning. And you need to thank God for pastors who are doing their job of warning.
Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Jer 6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
Eze 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
The job of a watchman is to watch and warn the people of the danger ahead. The pastor’s job is to show you the danger ahead, and it is your job is to heed the warning from the loving pastor.
Isa 52:8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
Isa 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Pastor is to warn you of false teaching, false prophet, false teachers, and false brethren. My job is to warn you of the danger of sin, Satan, and the world. My job is to warn you as a watchman.
Many church members do not want a watchman that will give them a warning, but someone that will tell them what they won’t hear.
Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
There are some pastors that are not watching, and warning and they are blind leaders. Sometimes, many of you think that it unloving to call out false pastors, and teachers. It is good because that is my job. It is not your job. And I must do my job.
Isa 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Isa 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
Christian pastors are called to warn believers, and that is just part of my responsibility as a pastor of this church, and it will unwise of me to think otherwise. It is not always easy for pastors to rebuke, but it is needed sometimes, and it is not to shame anybody but to warn you.
1 Corinthians 4:14-15 KJV I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.  For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
4. Pastor is a Counselor.
Judges 20:7 KJV Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.
A counselor is someone who gives advice and tries to help in times of crisis. Every day of our lives is filled with decision-making, and sometimes we don’t really understand how to make some decisions and that is why we go to people who are spiritually minded to help us in the decision-making process.
Going to your pastor for a counselor does not make you a weak person, but it takes strength to seek help from others.
As your pastor, I would often call friends who are already in the ministry before to seek counsel.
One of the reasons why we don’t go to Pastors for counseling is because, we think they will use it against us, and talk about it, that is faulty thinking.
When you are sick, you visit a doctor to talk to them about your ailment, you don’t say, this doctor will make fun of my situation if I go to him, just as doctors are to your physical health, the pastors are to your spiritual health.
And if you feel that he is not helping you spiritually, then you look for another doctor to help you.
We need to move past the stage where we ignore our pastors and started talking to others out there. There are some people that many of you are talking to about your life and they are not helping you spiritually.
Example: King David had a counselor who helped him succeed in many areas
2 Samuel 16:23 KJV
 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
Good counsels make you a wise person
Proverbs 1:5 KJV A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 19:20 KJV Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
A good counselor will never force you to make a decision, but a good counselor will give you to make the good choice. Never seek counsel after you have already made up your mind concerning what you are going to do.
Conclusion I am your pastor for this season, God may raise someone else for you in the future who will continue the work I have started, therefore, you need to know how to relate with him better.
Every good pastor wants to help you become better.