This evening I read that one of the reasons some pastors experience burn-out is because they are locked into job descriptions that are designed to maintain the institution and care for the members instead of being free to serve from their calling and giftedness. As soon as I read that I thought of the many pastor job descriptions I've seen over the years, and most of them do focus on maintenance ministry. Pastors often get the blame for the lack of growth in churches, but in most cases they are doing what the church has told them to do. While this problem is not limited to smaller churches, it does seem to be a common problem in many of them.
Churches have to come to a place of decision. They can either be faithful to the Great Commission and Great Commandment or they can call a chaplain to care for the flock. It's time they quit playing games and saying one thing while expecting another. The fact is, many churches have made the decision; they just haven't had the courage to voice it.
If Jesus operated like many churches today He would have focused all His attention on making sure the 12 disciples were comfortable and had all their needs met. Fortunately, for all of us, He did not do that. His purpose for coming was to reach out to the whole world and offer people a new life that could only be found in a personal relationship with Him. He equipped His disciples to take His message to nearby communities and to continue His work after He was gone. His example should be the model for churches today.
Pastors, does your job description free you to do ministry or does it call you to be a family priest and chaplain to the faithful in your congregation? Are there people you can talk to about this? If you could write your own job description without limitations, what would it be? Who can you talk to about this?