Sometimes I ask, “What is it I do again?” After a few instances of pondering this question, I created a reader-friendly copy of my job description from the United Methodist Book of Discipline (Duties of the Elder – ¶ 340), and I posted it by my office door. It’s like a permanent to-do list that helps me cover all aspects of ministry. Over time, I’ve also found it meaningful and helpful to flesh out the “roles” of the pastor, which led to the five below. I’ve pondered adding “teacher”, but I like to think that’s covered by “artist” and “prophet”. Let me know what you think. If this diagram is as helpful for you as it is for me, print it out and stick it on your fridge!
Ultimately, this is a functional definition of a pastor, as differentiated from a substantive definition. A substantive definition would be something like, “A pastor is a person empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to announce the reign of God, and to equip the church for ministry.” (This is taken from what the Bishop prayed over me as I became a Provisional Elder.) Functional definitions answer the next logical question: “How?” Here’s my answer so far: