In my own experience and understanding of God’s Word, I have a particular philosophy of ministry. I have summarised below how I approach ministry:
- Everything that the Church actively does must have some rationale and justification from God’s Word. Although the Word of God does not specifically dictate matters such as how to order a church service or what hymns to sing, what the church does and how it does it needs to be grounded in the Word of God, such as how to share the Gospel with a non-believer (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Church must stand on the Scriptures in all that it believes and does as being the infallible and inerrant revelation of God’s will for mankind.
- The Church needs to be constantly mindful of what is expected of it and what it exists for in order that it will continue being faithful and fruitful (Hebrews 4:1, 2 Chronicles 7:14). If Christians lose their focus, forget their identity, and fail to accomplish their mission, then the world cannot be expected to be won over to Christ. Therefore, the role of the pastor and other church leaders and for Christian laypeople in general is to continue to remind one another of these things and to look out for one another (Hebrews 3:13-14). It is also crucial to create an environment where there is mutual accountability and a place for people to confess sin with others.
- It is also essential that individual believers take personal responsibility for their own personal journey with God and to draw close to Him on a daily basis (Psalm 119:99-100). The role of the pastor in equipping the church is to try to ensure that everyone is doing this. Sunday church and Bible study attendance can facilitate this goal, but they can never be a substitute for a real, genuine walk with God that comes with personal time with God in prayer and the reading of the Scriptures. It is also crucial for those in church to develop other godly habits (such as having times of silence, listening to Christian music, reading books like The Pilgrim’s Progress, exercise, eating and sleeping) in order to further this end. This is particularly important for Christian pastors. Sadly, too many Christian pastors tend to neglect their own walk with God (I once did) and only open the Bible up when they need to prepare a sermon; as a result, preaching becomes superficial and mechanical, the pastor becomes distant and judgemental, church pastoring becomes a mere duty, and the Church itself becomes unproductive. As such, it is crucial that pastors in particular have their own thriving walk with God.
- The preaching of God’s Word and the demonstration of Christ’s love in the life of the church is essential not only for the smooth running of the church but also for evangelism (John 13:34-35). Therefore, arming the Church with the Word of God in order to accomplish its goals is a core task for any pastor. Ideally, pastors will train up church leaders to reach this goal, who in turn will then train up members of the congregation.
- Following from all of the above, it is essential for the pastor and other church leaders to equip its laypeople to share the Gospel with others. This is done through action, but particularly through verbally proclaiming Christ and understanding apologetics and the like. It is essential for the Church to understand the ways in which non-Christians think about issues like personhood and sexuality and how those things will positively or negatively influence how they hear the Gospel. As such, the pastor needs to understand these issues and teach them to the church in order that they will know to proclaim the Gospel in their cultural environment.
- It is also imperative for the pastor and the pastoral team to help those in the church struggling with issues such as addiction, anxiety, and other forms of brokenness to access the restoration that they need (Isaiah 61:1-7). Extra-church ministries such as therapy and prayer ministries can help in this respect, although it is more ideal if an individual church parish was actively engaged in such ministries. To this end, corporate and individual prayer is the lifeblood of the Church, as the Holy Spirit will reveal what direction God the Father wishes His people to move in.
- It is also critical in the life of the Church to engage people in discipleship, particularly men, since they are its present (and future) leaders. Rather than Bible colleges teaching doctrine to students in order to be accredited, this is essential for the local church. It also is more likely to ensure the perseverance of those in the Church in order that they will reach the end goal of their faith, which is the enjoyment of Christ in all His glory (2 Thessalonians 2:14).
God bless, Pastor Haydn Sennitt. Feel free to contact me here if you wish: