What are the top 5 tasks of a pastor, and why?

Updated: Jun 3, 2018

1.) To be faithful in teaching Biblical truth (MacArthur 2005, 26).[1] Paul gave instructions to Timothy in his letter regarding teaching the unadulterated word of God. “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).[2] Paul gave this instruction to Timothy so that he would take great care to ensure that he taught sound doctrine to those under his care so that they would know the ways of the Lord. It is important for those in ministry to teach the true word of God regardless of if it is popular or not. In today’s society, too many leaders are compromising the word of God in an effort to be a seeker-friendly church instead of teaching their members to be a friend of God. The church, in many ways, has failed in its ability to be effective in evangelizing to the lost because of this compromise with sin due to politics, money, fame, and status. For example, the world says that it is lawful for to men to marry each other when the Bible says that it is an abomination to the Lord. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).[3] Pastors must stand on God’s word despite the objections of the world.

2.) To be bold in refuting and exposing error (MacArthur 2005, 26).[4] As part of Paul’s letter to Timothy, he told him that he must courageously stand on truth and expose falsehood. “ If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed” (1 Timothy 4:6).[5] It is important to expose the errors in false teaching so that people will not be deceived. Many pastors are teaching falsehoods in the pulpits and people are being led astray from the ways of God due to the deceptions of demons. It is important to expose this and therefore, correct the error by showing them in the word of God the truth so that they may be led in the right direction and learn to discern the truth for themselves.

3.) To be an example of Godliness to the flock (MacArthur 2005, 26).[6] Many pastors are being scandalized across the media due to their own indecent and unbecoming behaviors as pastors. Many have committed sexual sins that bring reproach not only upon themselves but the churches at which they minister. These scandals have been seen all across the media pages and tv platforms that brings disgrace upon the body of Christ. Paul taught that a pastor is to be above reproach. “Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (1 Timothy 3:2-3).[7] A pastor must be a person with whom the church can look up to and be a role model for the world to be able to see Christ. A pastor should never get caught up in scandals that will be shame upon the body of Christ. Pastors are to lead an exemplary life being suitable for a Christian man/woman of God and practice what they preach.

4.) To be diligent and hardworking (MacArthur 2005, 26).[8] There many pastors who want to shepherd their flock by being outside of the fold rather than being hands on. These types of pastors are the ones that will parade with armor bearers and security surrounding them as if they are in need of the Secret Service. However, when a person is a shepherd, that means that they are in the pen with the flock so that if a wolf was to get in the pen, not only would the shepherd be able to run the wolf off but would be in position to assist a sheep that may have been injured of had run away due to fear of the wolf. Shepherds have to get dirty with the sheep and cannot lead the flock effectively if they are unwilling to be hands on. It is very shameful when there are “celebrity” so-called pastors leading people who cannot even have any personal contact with the pastor apart from seeing them in the pulpit. Many pastors train their congregations to idolize them instead of being the humble servants that they are supposed to be. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).[9] The work of a pastor is nonstop and is not something that can be put on and taken off at will – at least, it shouldn’t be. Those called to the office of the pastor must work hard in their personal lives as well as be diligent in disciplining people for the kingdom and this requires hands-on action.

5.) To be willing to suffer hardship and persecution (MacArthur 2005, 26).[10] In many of today’s “prosperity” gospel organizations, the true meaning of following Christ is being lost for the sake of material gain. Most Christians today are not being taught the meaning of living a crucified life. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).[11] Living for Christ often means sacrificing people and things that one may hold dear in order to be totally dedicated to Him. In order to live for Christ, a pastor must be willing to be uncomfortable and even be persecuted unto death in order to bring others into the fold of salvation. Many pastors are living this concept out in various countries. How many pastors in the west would be willing to do the same? One American pastor, Andrew Brunson, is sitting in a Turkish prison right now having spent over 500 days there for preaching the gospel which has unduly been labeled as terrorism.[12] He has suffered hardship, persecution and is currently in need of our prayers.


MacArthur, John. Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005.

McKay, Hollie. "U.S. Pastor Jailed in Turkey Without Charge Now Faces 35 Years in Prison."

MSN. Last modified March 15, 2018.

[1] John MacArthur, Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005), 26.

[2] 2 Tim. 4:2 (New International Version).

[3] 1 Cor. 6:9-10 (English Standard Version).

[4] MacArthur, Pastoral Ministry, 26.

[5] 1 Tim. 4:6 (New International Version).

[6] MacArthur, Pastoral Ministry, 26.

[7] 1 Tim. 3:2-3 (New International Version).

[8] MacArthur, Pastoral Ministry, 26.

[9] Is. 53:6 (New International Version).

[10] MacArthur, Pastoral Ministry, 26.

[11] Gal. 2:20 (New International Version).

[12] Hollie McKay, "U.S. Pastor Jailed in Turkey Without Charge Now Faces 35 Years in Prison," MSN, last modified March 15, 2018,

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