Why Do Church Members Think the Pastor is the Only Minister?


Why do church members think the Pastor is the only minister? I asked that question last night during our Community Group meeting.

The Answer

Talking with my wife afterwards and thinking through the responses this morning, it seems congregants don’t believe they are on par with their pastor when it comes to their ability to minister. Pastors are put in a different category, thought to play in a different league, or are seen as higher on the hierarchal scale of spirituality. They are the professional. As the professional, they are the ones who do the “real” ministering.

The Reality

I, however, don’t believe that’s true. While my full-time vocation is ministry, I don’t see myself as higher up the spiritual scale as others. Nor do I believe I am playing in a different league than my congregants. There are those in my congregation who can minister just as effectively, if not better, than I can.

While, at times, my knowledge of the Bible, Theology, Hermeneutics, and Ecclesiology might be greater, my life experiences are still limited, my relationships don’t run as deep, and my ability to comfort is, at times, not as great.

Knowledge doesn’t always equal better ministry.

Additionally, if a Pastor’s main job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph. 4), that necessitates others in the congregation are not only given the responsibility to minister, but also have the ability to minister. A little coaching or training might be needed, but ministry is possible.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

So don’t sell yourself short. You have the ability to minister. You might not be able to answer every theological question thrown at you, but ministry is much more than sharing knowledge. It is also about sharing wisdom. Wisdom that is gained from years of walking with the Lord and applying His Word to your life.

Question for Reflection

  1. How do you minister alongside your Pastor?