In 2 Timothy 4:1-5, Paul provides several priorities for pastors. The list is not exhaustive but are a helpful starting point for pastors to pattern their life and ministry, and for churches to evaluate for the life of their church and leaders.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Here are seven priorities for the pastor with questions to help your reflection of each.
- Preach the word: Is the pastor’s reading and study of the word evident from his preaching? (Acts 2:37)
- Be ready in every season: Is the pastor attentive to church issues and equipping others to meet the ministry needs? (Ephesians 4:12-16)
- Reprove/Rebuke/Exhort with patience and teaching: Does the pastor smell like sheep, spending time to know the hearts and hopes of people, and how to nurture their faith? (1Peter 5:2-4)
- Be sober-minded: Is the pastor disciplined physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually to avoid earthly idols? (1Corinthians 9:24-27)
- Endure suffering: Does the pastor deal with challenges and conflict with meekness or meanness? (2Corinthians 4:11)
- Do the work of an evangelist: Is the pastor bearing fruit resulting in new believers entering God’s kingdom? (Acts 17:16-23)
- Fulfill your ministry: In examining the pastor, what is the legacy being left for others and generations to follow? (Psalm 78:72)