This continues my series looking at the five-fold ministries as a series of "wanted ads." Some have misinterpreted these posts, thinking I am serious about these being jobs in the church! Please note: these are funtions only. Please see my posts here and here.
Job description: Caring for others in the body of Christ, often at considerable personal inconvenience. Making sure people are spiritually well-fed and protected and maturing in their walk with Christ. Rather than take on all the needs of those he/she cares for, the applicant is expected to train others to look out for the weak and those with needs.
Potential challenges: Previous expectations of this role are likely to be inaccurate, colored by non-Biblical models. This is not a position, but a function, modeled on Jesus, the good shepherd. This person will not be put on a pedestal, leading a "church," receiving the accolades of others. His/her primary role will not even be to prepare a weekly message. Rather, this person can expect to lay down his/her life for others.
Qualifications: The successful applicant will be very relational, with a willingness to listen to the stories and challenges others are facing. Looks out for the weak. May need to dispense tough love at times.
Compensations: no financial compensation. The joy of serving and being an example is sufficient current reward. Future compensation includes a "crown of glory."
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8 replies on “House churches need pastors”
I like the tension created between the natural cultural expectations created by the title of this post and the reality of what is clarified in “potential challenges.”
We automatically think of a “pastor” as being a position with power, control, positional responsibility, etc. That is exactly what house churches don’t need. But they do need pastors who are gifted by Jesus to fulfill the biblical function you describe.
Felicity, Great job, spot on, so glad that the Good
Shepherd is gifting you to do these series.
As usual, very helpful and provocative!
Ross and Bruce, thanks!
I read your blog often & just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to share these truths with the Body. It is very encouraging to see we aren’t alone in hearing from Jesus many of these same things too… Jesus is speaking to His people everywhere.
Thank you !
Chenoah, thank you for the encouragement. A blessing to hear from you
Wouah i like it soo much 😉 this is so accurate.
Howerver he last point leaves me in hunger. Why no financial compensation? Well maybe it is a mather of words (i am french speaker, so i might missunderstand some part of it) but the service desires honnor and this goes well through finances. The worker needs his salary (Luc 10:7 or 1Tim 5:18). What do you think ?
Sorry to be so long getting back to your comments. We’ve been in Europe for the past month and my correspondence has piled up.
I think it depends on your use of the word church. My understanding is that the word is used in three different ways in the New Testament. There’s the church universal, the church in a region and the church in a house.
My answer to your question is that the local house church leader probably does not need a salary. He may receive the occasional financial gift, but not enough to support him full time. After all, he/she is only looking after a relatively small group of people.
The elders referred to in I Tim 5, I personally believe have a city-wide function (see Titus 1:5) rather than a local one. Perhaps there is more of a case for giving them financial support, although there is nothing in the passages to suggest they should be full-time.
However, those who are traveling in ministry do need and deserve our support.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your blog! I think you would like mine too.
Been relational housechurching and planting for 30 years now. My blog is about Jesus, church and life in general.
Christopher “Captain” Kirk