Team Contacts
1.800.622.6549 (LA only)

Bill Robertson, Director Pastoral Leadership Team
ext. 291

JoLynn Chesser, Administrative Assistant
ext. 292

Stacy Morgan, Church Administration Strategist
ext. 293

Dianne York, Administrative Assistant
ext. 231

Eddie DeHondt, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - North

Gary Mitchell, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - South
ext. 294

Benjamin Harlan, Music Strategist
ext 234


Pastoral Team

Pastor, Is Your Duty Description Well?

It may sound odd, but a duty description that is not well is going to produce chaos, plain and simple. Christians dare not use “job description” for ministers and ministries. If a duty description does exist, it is generally so minimally defined it is almost useless. Many pastors will answer a church’s call without a clear communication of what is required.

Congregational Expectations

Expectations of the pastor vary from congregation to congregation.1 Such “job descriptions” will often mention the pastoral qualifications of 1Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 2, but will quickly digress into listing tasks that are not necessarily biblical.2 John Piper decries such a movement and calls pastors to refuse the “professionalism” of the ministry. In Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, he writes:

The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the agenda of the
spiritual man. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes the wineskins of
professionalism. There is an infinite difference between the pastor whose heart is
set on being a professional and the pastor whose heart is set on the aroma of
Christ, the fragrance of death to some and eternal life to others (2 Cor. 2:15-16).3

Unqualified Lay Leaders

Church planter and author Bill Hull describes the difficulty of dealing with unrealistic congregational expectations in the Disciple-Making Pastor. The absence of a duty description will predictably produce the presence of problems. Referring to the experience of pastors working with unqualified leaders, he states:

In many cases leaders who do not walk with God tell pastors how to spend their
time and do their job. Such laymen don’t pray, meditate on, study, or memorize
Scripture. Many have never introduced a single person to Christ. How anyone
could lead an organization that purposes to save the world and never lead one
person to Christ is the enigma of the church. This kind of duplicity cannot exist
even in the business community. Furthermore, such leaders possess no concept
or experience in training, reproduction, or multiplication. The prospect that this
pathology dominates the local church landscape is tragic. The fact that ungodly
men dictate to godly men is one of the institutional church’s greatest sins.4

Unregenerate lay leaders are more than a possibility. Is there anything worse than an unsaved church member driving the dictates of pastoral duties? Churches must be much more careful when choosing leaders and be wary of simply filling a role with any interested person. Such an interest may not be pure.

Aggravating Accusations

Without the availability and viability of a biblical duty description, accepted by the shepherd and the flock, chaos will always be crouching at the church’s door. The enemy’s tactics have not changed and any seasoned churchman knows that volatile personalities are a chief aim of Satan. A perceived unmet need articulated in a “failure to minster” accusation is a weighty, but all-too common occurrence against today’s clergy.


Scriptural. Whatever job description is compiled, it must be wholly biblical. Any who refuse to recognize this simple and irreplaceable truth is spiritually immature.

Supervision. Whether pursuing a new pastorate or clarifying the present, a duty description can help to clarify boundaries, establish margins, and promote pastoral wellness. Unclear lines of supervision are unhealthy. Is the pastor supervised by deacons or the personnel committee?

Sincerity. A duty description is a means to effectively minster, not a tool of dictatorship. The pastor’s heart and mind must be in synch.

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC.
Fit for the Fight, January 2010

1 Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006.
2 John Mac Arthur. Rediscovering Pastoral Ministry: Shaping Contemporary Ministry with Biblical Mandates (Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1995),19.
3 John Piper. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2002), 3.
4 Bill Hull. The Disciple Making Pastor: The Key to Building Healthy Christians in Today’s Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revel, 1998), 32.

Fit For The Fight - Current Issue

Fit for the Fight 02-2013
Added 6/4/2013 12:02:30 PM

“Pastor, what do you think about leadership?”  February 2013

The myriad usages of  “leadership” often obscure its origination.[1] Etymology reminds us that the meaning finds its roots in the idea of  “guiding, directing, and traveling.”  Consequently, a leader takes someone along on a journey, with a clear destination.

The Leadership Example

Christians seek to be like Him...a servant.  Leading is serving and serving is leading.  The source material for the footprints and fingerprints of Jesus is found in the Bible. Inspiration and direction come from studying Scripture, praying through the revealed Truth.  While there are official titles and positions for leadership, such labels are unnecessary to lead.  Everyone has a circle of influence. 

The use of “lead” and “serve” as synonyms does not diminish the reality of difficulties, disagreements, or debates.  It does mean the presence of a pastoral spirit and an invisible shepherd’s staff.  


Many “leaders” are survivalists, concerned with popularity over principle.  They “lead” by consensus prodding, when often, the courageous minority is right.  Indeed, a “prophet-deficit” has proven to be unbelievably costly.  The goal of leadership is not to have everyone’s approval, affection, and applause.

Matters of style and strengths are inherently connected to any conversation of leadership.  But, what is said about the substance of leadership?  The source of one’s leadership theology and its implementation/application must be foundationally fixed.  Without such security, the leader will vacillate when the winds of adversity blow.  Such a leader is unreliable, disrespected, and marginalized, even though revered as “successful.”

Personal integrity is humbly bound to a core of convictions, founded and grounded in the Scripture.  Such veracity will garner the respect of most, even amidst divergent views.  Belief and behavior must be congruent.  Convictions must be distinguished from preferences.  Confusing the two will sound an unclear trumpet to all.  


Dictionary.  What dictionary are you using to define and defend your use of “leadership?”   The source may determine the course. 

Direction.  Are you drifting away from the Truth?  The wrong book can you lead you away from the Book.  

Discipleship.  Have you forgotten the Great Commission?  Padding your resume by more seats in padded pews is not necessarily obedience. 

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.  
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC. 
Fit for the Fight, February 2013 


 [1] Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006.