Is Ministry The Most Important Role of a Pastor?

Is Ministry The Most Important Role of a Pastor?

Jesus is our ultimate example and as pastors and leaders we should always look first to his example. This week I wanted to highlight the fact that not only did Jesus minister to the multitudes he also coached or discipled the few. So have a look at these two very important roles – ministry and coaching.


We all know Jesus ministered to people. This was what he spent a lot of his 3 years doing. We can see many examples of Jesus ministering, here is one:

Luke 6:17-19 (NIV)
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

We can see here that Jesus’ ministry had no limits or expectations. He ministered to his disciples, his followers and the crowds. Everyone was healed. Not just a few, not most but all were healed. Does this mean that all these people become dedicated disciples of Jesus? No. I’m sure that was God’s heart for them, but whether they followed him or not, Jesus healed them. Ministry is for everyone.

Most churches have a very clear place were people can receive ministry, this is usually our church services. We worship Jesus together, we pray for people’s needs, we preach God’s word and we offer a chance for people to believe in Jesus. What a wonderful thing it is to be able to minister to any hurting, lost, seeking person.

Coaching (discipleship)

As well as Jesus’ ministry to everyone we can see many occasions where Jesus coached people, his disciples. I like this word “coach” as I think this is a great word that shows the discipleship relationship between Jesus and his disciples. Here are a few examples:

Mark 4:10-11 (NIV)
10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables

We also see Jesus coaching his disciples here:

Mark 14:37 (NIV)
37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?

Jesus had a closer relationship to his disciples, he spent more time with them than anyone else. He taught them directly, honestly and more in depth than the other people he ministered too. He did life together with his disciples, involved in all areas of their lives.

In turn we see that for his disciples there was a buy in, a commitment. There is an expectation that Jesus has on his disciples that he didn’t have on the crowds. Jesus tells us the cost of being a disciple is high, we must lay down our selfish ways, pick up our cross and follow him. Being a disciple of Jesus is all in. Jesus only coached his disciples. It wasn’t for everyone.

Pastors and Leaders

It’s the same for us, we can’t coach everyone, we can only coach those who want to be coached. Those who want to be held to a higher standard, who want accountability and biblical correction. We can offer coaching to everyone but they must decide that they want to be committed to the process or we won’t be able to effectively coach them.

If all we do as a pastor or leader is minster, we are limiting what God can do through our church and through us. There’s a limit to how many people one person can effectively minister too. However the more leaders we coach to a higher level, the more they are empowered to minister also.

There is no limit to the amount of people we can reach with the love of Jesus if we continue to coach people to be sold out followers of Jesus!

Imagine if Jesus had only ministered to and never coached his disciples? Who would of stepped to lead the church forward after Jesus had returned to Heaven?

We can’t really say if one is more important than the other, but what we can say is that Jesus modeled both ministry and coaching. We are called to be like Jesus, so as pastors and leaders we are called to minister to the crowds but also to coach the few.

My question to you is, what is your church’s plan to coach those who want to be sold out followers of Jesus?

Is Ministry The Most Important Role of a Pastor?

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