Posted by: Jeff Warren | October 2, 2010

Pastor: follower, leader, servant, debtor

I’ve been called to be a pastor.  Paul wrote, It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…” “Pastors and teachers is actually one word in the Greek- it could be said, “shepherd/instructor”.  Clearly my first calling is not to a position or a place but to a Person.  My highest calling (like any believer) is to Jesus Himself.  My role as a pastor is love God with all my heart and to love others- more than I love myself.  My task as a pastor is to communicate God’s vision for His church and to shepherd the people as together we accomplish the mission God.

“The first task of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say, “thank you”. In between the leader is a servant and a debtor.” Max Depree

I love Max Depree’s definition of the role of a leader.  My first task is to tell the Truth- whether people want to hear it or not.  The Bible gives us His truth.  And I know that I am a servant and that I indebted to anyone who will allow me to lead. It was Andy Stanley who said, “leadership is a stewardship, it’s temporary, and you’re accountable”.  All of us are accountable before God Almighty for the vocation (“calling”) He has given us.

My primary role is to stay close to Jesus. My highest calling is to Christ Himself- to stay so close to Him, to listen to Him and obey Him in my role as pastor.  The priorities of my life will be guided by Scripture: God first, my wife second, my family, and my ministry.  I will live openly and authentically before you. I follow the apostles example in Acts 6:1-4. I will devote my life to prayer and to my personal walk with Jesus Christ. This is true for me- but it is true of you as well- as a parent, a friend, a co-worker, a classmate… if you’re not walking closely with Jesus, everyone around you becomes a victim of your unspiritual life.

I long to walk so closely with Jesus that I could join Paul who said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”  1 Corinthians 11:1 Copy me as I copy Jesus.  The pastor’s role is to point everyone to Jesus. I don’t want to waste my life- and I know you don’t want to either.  God is calling us into this great adventure that is His redemptive mission- to bring hope and healing to our world.  If a church can determine to align all things (both personally and corporately) with His mission, that church will change the world.  Let the journey begin.



  1. God bless you every day. We need strong leaders in Jesus. Grazie.

  2. Pastors and teachers are two different words. Even though they are grouped together by “and” they still could representt different gifts and probably persons. I believe there’s a distinct difference between preaching and teaching. Both are important, but they are not identical or interchangeable gifts or tasks.

  3. Further exegesis here…

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