The Pastor is called to be a preacher/teacher within the body of faith. This place of leadership gives him a unique authority and influence in the local church. When the shepherd of the flock leads, the flock will follow. This is crucial for the general health of the church but also for the missional health of the body of Christ.
The pastor is called to be God’s strategist for the local mission field but is also critical for God’s command to take the Gospel to the nations. When the pastor has a passion for missions the church will be ignited to go into all the world for the sake of the Gospel.
The pastor is vital in:
- Casting a missional vision. If it is not said from the pulpit most in the pews do not think it is important.
- Helping the body of Christ understand lostness. When the pastor is consumed by the urgency of our work for Christ, it will overflow to the people in the pews.
- Making missions a regular and important part of worship. Missions should flow from the worship of God. We were created to give God glory. When we meet God in worship, it stirs our hearts to make His name known among all the nations. The pastor plays a key role by seeking ways to make missions a part of worship (preaching on missions, showing mission clips, praying for missions, highlighting mission offerings, using missions’ illustrations in his message, inviting missionaries to speak).
- Preaching the Word faithfully and challenging the people to live life on mission for Christ.
- Leading by example. The church will never be more committed than their leader.
- Fostering the development of missionaries within the congregation by seeking to grow and encourage those in the family of faith to serve and surrender to a missions’ calling. Pastors are called to equip up the saints, so that these disciples may be sent out on mission for Christ.
- Developing a comprehensive mission strategy to move the church to reach its Jerusalem, to have impact in the church’s Judea and Samaria, and to take the Gospel to the farthest corners of the globe.
- Being an encourager of missions and missionaries. Invite missionaries to your church and help the church to build relationships with missionaries.
- Promoting missions giving. This is the lifeblood of missions, and when we give cooperatively we can do more for the Kingdom than any of us can alone. The pastor plays a vital role in helping the church to understand why we give to missions and choose to work cooperatively as Southern Baptists.
- Encouraging the church to pray for missions, unreached people, and missionaries.
- Energizing the flock to “Go.”
The strength or weakness of each local church’s missionary strategy, missionary support, and missionary outreach will depend, more than any other one element, on the mission-mindedness of its pastor.