Duties of a Pastor, Part 7
Pastors Build Wisely
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses concerns he has about divisions among them. Specifically, he warns them about becoming obsessed with one apostle over another. He sees this as a sign of spiritual immaturity.
Paul tells them that he and Apollos are fellow workers and the church is God's field and God's building. From that analogy, he goes on to speak about his work as a master builder. Paul established the church at Corinth with skill. Others will come after him and build on that foundation which is Jesus Christ.
Then Paul makes this crucial point that church leaders must take to heart. Those who come after and build on that foundation must do so with costly materials.
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Cor. 3:11 ESV)
How do Pastors fit into this building work? In Ephesians 4, Paul writes that the pastor/teachers equip the body to do the work of the ministry for the building up of the body of Christ. In other words, pastors are builders. They help equip the church to build and to grow.
In practical terms, this means that the pastors/elders in a church must be selective in how they help the church do ministry. They have to discern the kinds of precious materials that will last compared to shallow and temporary fads. They must be sure that the primary biblical structures are in place and then judiciously evaluate any additional programs or activities.
Pastors and elders oversee building the church so it may grow into a solid, biblical, and healthy structure.