Championing the Role of the Pastor


Are Pastors Really that Important?

At Novum we believe that God desires his people to pursue all of life as ministry. At the heart of our conviction is that the Bible tells the story of God making all things new. If his work includes all creation, then so does the church's ministry. One beautiful aspect of this vision is that one can suddenly see how each local church is involved in God's mission. Wherever the members go each week, that's exactly where God has sent them for ministry. Thus, teaching the Bible as the story of God making all things new has the power to multiply the ministry of the church without adding a new program, hiring any new staff, or busting the budget. But in so doing, have we diminished the role of the minister, the pastor? Not at all! If the role of the pastor is to equip the people of God, then this vision elevates the role of pastors as the equipping minister, especially in their preaching and teaching of the Bible.

I went through a phase, a pretty long one in fact, when I thought, "Preaching is not that important." Which sounds strange once you know that I've spent a solid third of my life training to teach and preach. "Get up there, say what the text says, and then sit down," I thought. "There's so much more to being a pastor. This isn't that important." I think there were some healthy reasons for this. I didn't want to judge a pastor's worth simply by the "speech" given on Sundays. I didn't want my gifts and calling to be elevated above others. And I wanted to work against the celebrity pastor culture. The problem was that I had an impoverished understanding of the role of preaching in the calling of a pastor and the life of the church. It's not about the pastor at all. It's about equipping the church. 

Pastor as Gift to the Church

The job description of the pastor is to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). While I thought this mainly happened apart from preaching the Bible, I've discovered that the Scriptures happen to exist for the same purpose as the pastor--so that the people of God might be fully equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God has prepared good works for his people to do, and he has given them two great gifts to equip them for these good works--pastors and the Bible. The simple truth that pastors and the Bible have the same purpose has transformed my view of the pastorate, especially those few opportunities pastors have to teach the Bible, including Sunday sermons.  

If you are a pastor, consider the significance this has for how you view your own calling. Throughout history God has provided guides to encourage his people, give them hope, and equip them for every good work. This includes the authors God called to write the Scriptures. This same calling has now been handed down to you. God has given you to the church for this time. So when you hear Novum say that all of life is ministry, this does not somehow diminish your ministry. It elevates it. You are not called to do all the ministry of the church, but to do the essential ministry of equipping her for every good work. So, please do get up and say what the text says. It's important. Because if you teach the text according to the purpose for which it was written, then you will encourage, extend hope, and equip. Exactly what we need.

That's why we want to champion the role of the pastor. We need you. And at Novum we want to serve you by providing resources to help you call, equip, and encourage for every good work. So we invite you to take the challenge.

Take the Challenge

We have developed the Novum Teaching Model based on the purpose and story of Scripture. We believe that this resource will help you equip people for every good work without adding new programs, new staff, or new budget line items. So here’s the challenge. Download this booklet for $5. Use it in your teaching preparation for 90 days. After 90 days, if this resource does not help you better equip people for every good work, then we will refund your $5. Take the challenge today. Multiply your ministry tomorrow.


Mark Catlin