You don’t have to be awesome. God is awesome.

Kent Shaffer —  February 18, 2013

Some pockets of Christianity create a false theology of what a pastor should be by hijacking the biblical roles of a pastor with their own cultural ideals. It is not intentional. In fact, they often agree on the biblical definition of a pastor, but their actions and culture don’t show it. Their culture perpetuates an epitome of pastors that binds them psychologically and drives their behavior.

The Bible describes a pastor as a shepherd who feeds and protects the flock and ideally knows them by name. It is an authoritative intimacy with the congregation that feeds them spiritually with preaching, teaching, and relational discipleship while nurturing, protecting, and guiding their individual spiritual journeys.

In some pockets of Christianity, we’ve stopped empowering believers to use their spiritual gifts and created a culture where the pastor is expected to be the eloquent speaker (teaching gift), the counselor (shepherd gift), the CEO (administration gift), the visionary (leadership gift), the motivator (exhortation gift), the scholar (knowledge gift), the expert (wisdom gift), the soul-winner (evangelism gift), the buddy (hospitality gift), the prayer warrior (intercession gift), the spiritualist (discernment, miracles, & faith gifts) as well as a technologist, social media maven, marketer, sex expert, financial strategist, diplomat, comedian, blogger, vlogger, and more.

When you fail to emphasize the responsibility each church member has to own and live out their spiritual gift(s) daily, the pastor will inevitably feel the need to take the responsibility of all the gifts upon his shoulders. This is impossible and unhealthy. The eye can not be a spleen.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

3 responses to You don’t have to be awesome. God is awesome.

  1. Amen! Very insightful, Kent! How do we break that cycle of thinking? Though not a pastor, as a person in a leadership role in our ministry I have often felt the pressures (subtle and sometimes not so subtle) to shine in areas I am just not gifted in. In other word, as you so aptly put it…to be a spleen when I am an eye. Thanks for advocating for the freedom for each of us to simply fill the role God has given us in the Body!

  2. I think that prayer, the renewing of one’s mind, and listening to the Holy Spirit are key to becoming content with one’s role in the Body of Christ.

  3. Great stuff. I love the message, because I admit that as a pastor, I made the mistake of searching the mirror for awesome, when I should have been looking ABOVE.