Roles of the Pastor & Elders

The Role of the Pastor

 

In Faith & Practice, the primary responsibility of the Pastor is to prepare themselves by careful, prayerful study to expound the scriptures, to awaken the consciences of those who hear, to inspire a longing for Christ, and to guide all the congregation, particularly young people and children, in the search for God and the Christian way of life.

 

In the development of a sense of responsibility on the part of the meeting toward the community, Pastors should maintain an interest in public affairs and should cooperate with other churches and associations in fostering in every possible way the welfare of the community.

 

Finally, the Pastor is a member, but not an officer, of the Monthly Meeting on Ministry and Counsel.  The pastor should present concerns for the consideration of this body but have no more authority over its decisions than other members.

 

When a monthly meeting has made arrangements for a Pastor to assist in its efforts to fulfill its Christian mission, the Meeting on Ministry and Counsel must not allow its own responsibilities in the life of the meeting to be neglected or diminished.

 

A clear understanding of the work to be done cooperatively must be reached. When this is done, the pastor may expect the full support of the Meeting on Ministry and Counsel in prayer, counsel, and cooperative efforts.

 

The Pastoral Job description includes the following:

 

The Pastor will assist the Elders in the visitation in hospital and homes of the members, non-members and regular attendees.

 

Pastor Jerry operates on an appointment schedule for counseling as well as home visitation.  He offers counseling in marriage, anger management, dysfunctional families, and other similar concerns.

 

Oversight of the Salem Church – Hispanic Ministry

 

Our Pastor operates by an original contract from the monthly meeting in which the terms is for an indefinite basis until such time that the elders or he feels God is leading him on to another ministry.

 

40 hours per week, 3 weeks Vacation, 1 week for continuing education, 1 week of sick time, attend Yearly meeting and a ministry convention of his choice.  The 5th Sundays will be a time of rest for Pastor Jerry and attend the service at his discretion.

 

Accountability report to be given regarding time spent in his Pastoral duties.  The role of a Pastor often exceeds the contracted 40 weekly hours and he is on call 24/7.  Much of the work is highly confidential in nature due to legal ramifications.  He will share his evaluations annually with the Elders, General Superintendent, and his personal attorney as needed. 


Role of the Elders

 

Faith & Practice tells us that the Ministry and Counsel, referred to as the Elders, have the specific duty over the general care of the spiritual welfare and religious work the meeting. The elders should be especially concerned for the ministry of the meeting, participating themselves as divinely directed.

 

This includes being watchful of the interests of the non–resident and non–attending members, as well as regular attendees. All meeting families should be visited, giving special care to those who are not members and inviting them to join in membership when they are prepared.

 

When a monthly meeting has made arrangements for a Pastor to assist in its efforts to fulfill its Christian mission, the Meeting on Ministry and Counsel must not allow its own responsibilities in the life of the meeting to be neglected or diminished.

 

A clear understanding of the work to be done cooperatively must be reached. When this is done, the pastor may expect the full support of the Meeting on Ministry and Counsel in prayer, counsel, and cooperative efforts.

 

Any concerns or issues regarding the spiritual condition of the members of the church should be addressed directly with the Elders for their careful consideration and elders should gently counsel any member whose behavior, values, or attitudes are contrary to the Christian faith or out of unity with Friends’ principles.

 

As the Pastor is primarily responsible for guiding the congregation in their walk with Christ, it would be a conflict of interest for him to serve as a judge or mediator with any disputes.  Therefore, he should remain neutral when two parties are disagreeing and allow the Elders or other appropriate committee to make any and all recommendations in those matters.

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