Have you ever asked yourself that question? It’s obvious that not all pastors are the same. We all have different gifts and different experiences that have shaped us into who we are. Sure, each one of us has similarities but we’re also unique in our own way.
I think that’s one of the things that make the Church so special. We each have different gifts that have been given to us to bless those around us. When we operate within those gifts we thrive, but if we ever try to be someone we’re not we’ll end up frustrated and disappointed.
Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. For instance, I’m never going to be able to preach like a Steven Furtick or T.D. Jakes. They’re both phenomenal speakers, but if I tried to emulate them I’d just end up looking silly. I have to be myself.
Other times those expectations come from those around us. More than a few pastors have crumbled under the weight of unrealistic expectations placed on them by a church of well-meaning Christians.
All of us are gifted yes, but we’re not great at everything, and we’re not meant to be. In order for our churches and us to be at our best, we need to operate within our gifts and realize our limitations.
What Type of Pastor Are You?
Entrepreneurs are incredible at casting vision and inspiring others to help accomplish that vision. They have no problem setting a course to achieve the seemingly impossible. They often accomplish greater things than anyone else, but some people will think they’re crazy.
Shepherds believe above all else God has called them to care for the hurting, reach the lost, and comfort the grieving. They are peacemakers, great counselors, and enjoy visiting the sick. Entrepreneurs get frustrated with them because they don’t seem to care as much about growth, and administrators get frustrated with them because they forget about important details.
All pastors teach the word of God, but some are especially gifted in this area. These pastors love to study the word of God and are able to uncover rich insights, creative illustrations, and applicable next steps for their listeners. These pastors are often able to draw large crowds, but they struggle providing clear direction for the future.
Administrators are excellent at creating plans, strategies, and systems that keep the church running. They have no problem delegating tasks and placing everyone in the right role. Administrators can drive entrepreneurs crazy because they insist on having everything in place before they begin a new initiative. Shepherds may assume that their concentration on systems misses the hearts of the people.
Where do you see yourself among these four? Being able to identify where you are most gifted is the first step, but equally important is identifying where you are weak. Once you’ve identified where you are weak, you can start taking steps to place gifted people in the areas of your weakness.
Travis Stephens is a husband, father, and executive pastor of a small town church that went big. He has a passion for helping pastors grow themselves and the churches they serve. You can find out more about him and his ministry at TravisStephens.me.