Biblical Guidance for the Lead Pastor: Pulpit Ministry & Pastoral Relationships


Welcome to Pastor Wendell’s newest blog series: Biblical Guidance for the Lead Pastor. Over the next few months, Pastor Wendell will share 40 years of ministry wisdom and experience on numerous leadership categories. This slightly edited text was originally written as a Pastor’s Briefing to Pastors Judah and Chelsea Smith upon their promotion to Lead Pastors of The City Church. The wisdom contained within these posts are biblical, practical, proven, and sincere. Our prayer for pastors is that you too would lead a life beyond reproach as a godly example to the flock over which you have been made an overseer.

Pulpit Ministry

2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching.  2 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV)

Preach the Word faithfully, and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit during services to minister life to the people of God as He leads.  I think a pastor can accomplish a lot and actually preach, teach or declare several “messages” or words from the Lord during one corporate service.

Examples would be words of exhortation, a scripture, a prophecy, a song, a prayer, and a word of knowledge, word of wisdom or word of faith.   All of these can be inspired by the Holy Spirit, usually during worship, and can minister to specific people or groups like nothing else will.

People will marvel.  “How did you know what I needed?”  “God spoke exactly to my need.”  “We were just discussing that.”  “I just read the scripture”.

We have the Holy Spirit anointing –home court advantage -as a church and because of our doctrine.  Use it regularly.

Pastoral Relationships

Everyone will want to get close to you (both), spend time with you, invite you over to their house and try to establish a close relationship with you. You must be careful to let the Lord choose who you should invest your life and time into.  You are limited and only human and not omnipresent.  Your priorities are marriage, children, then your chosen leaders and others as the Lord leads.

Learn to say “no” graciously to people.

Graciously refuse invitations and say things like:

  • “Well that would be nice, but we just can’t do it at this time because of our various priorities, but thanks for thinking of us.”
  • “I’m sorry, it’s just not practical for us at this time.”
  • “Probably can’t work that out now, but thanks”

 Priority people in your life:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Family
  • Staff
  • Key Leaders
  • Key Members
  • Pastors and Leaders (from other key churches)

It is a waste of your time to meet with people whose only agenda is to get close to you.  Others will want to counsel with you, but they could be counseled by staff personnel.  Still others are even used by the devil to sap your time and your strength.

11 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “An adversary shall be all around the land; He shall sap your strength from you, And your palaces shall be plundered.”  Amos 3:11 (NKJV)

Your new leadership and emphasis on reaching the city and reaping a harvest of souls will draw all kinds of people to the church and some can be spies, rebels, and reprobates.  You must allow the Holy Spirit to sift and sort them out and set those into the “body” as it pleases Him.

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 “which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.  Matthew 13:47-48 (NKJV)

19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:19-23 (NKJV) 

For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4 (NKJV)

12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars…  Jude 1:12-13 (NKJV)

16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.  Jude 1:16-19 (NKJV)

Our prayer is that you would prayerfully consider how you communicate to your community from the pulpit corporately and one on one. You can’t personally meet with everyone. God has placed a supportive staff around you to help you minister to the people.

– Pastor Wendell

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