Monday, March 09, 2009

101 Thigns A Pastor Needs to Know

>>> Note: My comments are in response to a request to help a new pastor (see post from Assist News below) . . .

Even though every pastor prays, not many are praying pastors or skill trained to be lead their congregation into transforming prayer. We teach how to pray privately and preach on praying more but fail to reach our congregation in a way that results in compelling, book-of-Acts type praying.

The Apostles discovered the essential role of prayer; they delegated other tasks (significant ones at that) to give their attention to praying and ministering the word (Acts 6:4). Is it possible they also realized that prayer must precede our study of the the scriptures, so we avoid merely constructing theological systems rather than teaching truth that eternally and immediately connects listeners to the one who is Truth? Can we adequately understand the Word of God with only our mid? Must we not be in communication and communion with the author; i.e. prayer?

As Paul mentored Timothy who was pastoring the congregations in Ephesus, he spoke with urgency that prayer must be a top priority (1 Timothy 2:1). He told the believers in the Collossian Church they must devote themselves to prayer (literally, spend much time together in the place of prayer) (4:2).

The pastor must assume the role of prayer champion, casting vision for prayer that goes beyond reactive praying (praying only in response to problems and needs) to proactive praying (praying for the plans and promises of God to be revealed and released across the earth). We must lead our people with prayers that seek to bless the community, training members into a prayer-care-share lifestyle, and most importantly living it ourselves. Every prayer must somehow be a "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done" prayer in inspiration and intention.

Anything less than proactive, outward focused, all-the-church praying is less that what the Holy Spirit is ready, willing and able to do in every congregation regardless of size or style. In my mind (and life experience) the #1 thing a pastor needs to know is how to lead prayer that yearns "for the earth (to) be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." Habakkuk 2:14

Phil Miglioratti
National Pastors' Prayer Network (nppn.og)

101 Things every pastor needs to know and their parishioners wish they knew

By Bill Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service

SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- I was recently invited to the ordination of an extremely talented young man. Friends, family, state leaders and his congregation were present. Call him Scott Hodge and his wife, Susan. Give his son the biblical name, Isaac. His beautiful little girl we call Zoe. A model family.

Pastor Hodge is such a tremendous vocalist that he could be the lead singer for any musical group in the nation. He is an accomplished pianist, guitarist and a superb public speaker. He is sincere, a man of impeccable integrity and intellectually brilliant.

What about the 101 thing he needs to know? Space constraints limit my briefly mentioning just ten things. That leaves 91 to come up with. Please, send your list to me this week.

1. Called to preach. Years ago ordination committees asked, "Have you been called to preach? When did you receive that call?" There is a distinct difference in being called by God to preach and just deciding it would be an interesting and challenging vocation.

2. Educational preparation. Sixty years ago it was rare to find pastors with a masters degree. The Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent is now the expected degree for pastors. There are, however, no mandatory educational requirements in most church bodies for ordination.

3. Pastor, evangelist, missionary, teacher are all related. They may be ordained ministers. St. Paul wrote that Christ " . . . gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers . . ." (Ephesians 4:11).

4. The importance of the minister's spouse. This is one of the most important decisions a minister will ever make -- the choice of one's ministry partner for life. Problems have risen when a man or woman changes their profession and becomes a minister.

5. Working with church boards and leaders. Much of the success of the pastor and the congregation will be determined by how well they can work together.

6. The time to change pastorates. Perhaps it is best to leave when things are going exceedingly well. But who wants to leave then? A pastor may stay too long.

7. Preparing to preach. Many times you hear adults say, "I could never prepare a sermon and stand in front of a crowd and speak for 25 minutes." There are classes in homiletics that teach us how to prepare and deliver sermons.

8. Being the church's number one teacher. Pastors also function as teachers. Some like Arlo Newell, James Earl Massey, Adrian Rogers, Hayes Wicker, John MacArthur, David Sebastian, David Cox and Melissa Pratt have excelled as both preacher and teacher.

9. Keeping accurate records. One of the most important and helpful things a pastor can ever do is to keep exact records for himself and the church on such matters as weddings, funerals, attendance, minutes of business decisions and financial documents.

10. Preserving research, sermon and teaching outlines. A pastor may spend hours each week in preparation to preach and teach. Those probings and inquires should be preserved and kept. Dr. Charles V. Weber used to talk about "living out of the overflow." The exact research and study notes could profitably be used for Sunday or Wednesday evenings and other teaching and preaching opportunities.

In talking about "101 things a pastor needs to know" we have 91 to go and no more space. You may send your suggestions to me at: or write to me at Bill Ellis, P. O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. What is really important for a pastor to know? I look forward to your response.

For information on becoming a subscriber to the Ellis Column for your newspaper or magazine, you may contact him at: BILL ELLIS, P.O.Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560 or by calling: 304-757-6089.

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.

This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.

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Tom said...

101 things need to know, what else? Where are they? I just found 10.

Phil Miglioratti said...

In talking about "101 things a pastor needs to know" we have 91 to go and no more space. You may send your suggestions to me at: or write to me at Bill Ellis, P. O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560.