15 Different Types of Pastoral Leaders

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Few of us who are pastors excel in—or even enjoy—every aspect of pastoral ministry. Most of us have a few areas we greatly enjoy, a few areas that stretch us uncomfortably and many areas in the middle. When we recognize the extremes at either end, we're better prepared to capitalize on our strengths and force ourselves to do our best under God's grace in our weaker areas.

Which of these types fits you best? Least? If you're a layperson, which best characterizes your pastor?

  1. Scholar. You enjoy talking about scholarly debates, and you stay on top of current resources on theology.
  2. Caregiver. You're a shepherd who takes care of your sheep. You seldom miss a need among your congregation.
  3. Evangelist. The gospel almost "oozes" out of you. Few people you meet don't hear some part of the Good News from you.
  4. Entrepreneur. Within biblical parameters, you love dreaming up new ways to grow and support the church.
  5. Preacher. Nothing lights your fire like proclaiming the Word of God. It's almost as if you do everything else a pastor does so you get a chance to preach.
  6. Leader. You're continually reading works on leadership, and being the best leader you can is critical to you.
  7. Counselor. Perhaps because of your training or your experience, you enjoy one-on-one counseling sessions. Dealing daily with the problems of your congregation doesn't drain you.
  8. Teambuilder. You're the leader, but building your team of staff and lay leaders takes much of your time—by your choice. Consequently, your team tends to serve loyally and long-term with you.
  9. Maintenance man. It might be that your church expects you to help take care of the building and grounds, or perhaps you just enjoy doing these kinds of tasks.
  10. Prophet. You understand that both the church and culture need to hear the voice of a prophet, and you're unafraid to be that voice. You seldom, if ever, avoid a tough issue.
  11. Disciplemaker. You regularly invest in young leaders, guiding them toward growth and challenging them to serve God faithfully. Likely, several members you've invested in are now serving as pastors and church leaders.
  12. Missionary. The Lord may not have yet called you overseas, but still your heart beats for the nations. You travel to do mission work as often as you can, and you challenge your church to do the same.
  13. Denominational loyalist. You love your church, but you also love your denomination (even with all its imperfections). Your participation at the local and national levels is strong.
  14. Community shepherd. You pastor not only your church, but also your community. People in the area, including members of other churches, know you as "Pastor _______."
  15. Prayer warrior. Some of your primary work is behind the scenes, when you take your congregation before the Lord in prayer. Your folks have no question about the depth of your prayer life.

So, which types best describe you or your pastor?

Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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This article originally appeared at chucklawless.com.

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