...by David Mays
I sometimes think of pastors according to the following word pictures. These pictures apply to all church leaders, but for simplicity we will speak of the pastor.
The Pulpit Pastor
The pulpit pastor stands in front of his congregation and looks out over his flock. He sees their hopes and aspirations, their talents and skills, their income and their possessions, and particularly their needs and their pain. The pastor’s capacity for leadership and comfort is completely filled by the needs of his congregation and he devotes himself to the people in his church.
The Steeple Pastor
In my mental picture, the Steeple Pastor, climbs up into the steeple of his church and looks out over the neighborhood. He sees the adults and their children, their habits and routines, their relationships and institutions, and especially their social and spiritual needs. This pastor is moved by the sheep without a shepherd throughout his whole neighborhood. His heart longs for them to find the peace and fulfillment that Christ can bring.
The Helicopter Pastor
In my mind, I see the Helicopter Pastor climbing into the local news helicopter and flying over his city and the surrounding area. He sees the inner city neighborhoods with their hurting and desperate people, and the suburbs with their busy and fragmented lifestyles. He sees how people fruitlessly rush from activity to entertainment, how in their search for peace and happiness they have no time to get acquainted with the only one who can fill their empty hearts. This pastor can picture these people flocking to his church to find hope, joy, and peace. He longs for them to learn to love and serve God and others as they grow in the fruit of the spirit. He aches to reach them.
The Satellite Pastor
The Satellite Pastor goes into his prayer closet with a globe. Like a man in a satellite, he gazes down at the slowly rotating ball between his hands. As each continent passes slowly by, he reflects on the countries and peoples. He recognizes nations and peoples who are in bondage to false religions and totalitarian governments, who are ravaged by grinding poverty and famine, who are struck down by natural disasters and diseases. He sees the nations where churches are lifeless or few and where Christian workers are not heeded or not allowed. He sees where the church is rapidly growing, where it is terribly persecuted, and where it has yet to be planted. And he prays with great intensity for the people and nations as they pass before him.
Eventually his own country comes into view. He thinks of the vast hoard of wealth and resources in his nation. He thinks of the talents, skills, experience, resources, and influence available within his own church. He considers the great needs of the world and he prays, “Oh God, please help us make the greatest possible impact on the world for Your Kingdom!”