And In Closing

3 about 3

Below are 3 things I have learned about the 3 dimensions of pastoral ministry.  No pastor does all 3 equally well, but every pastor has responsibilities in all 3 areas.


  1. Preaching is the most visible role and usually garners the most attention. Preaching  involves Biblical content, application, illustration and delivery style.  It is unwise to evaluate the effectiveness of a preacher solely  on style. Biblical content, application, illustration  will be of greater importance over time.
  2. Good preaching requires preparation. Most of my ministry I spent 16 to 20 hours weekly in preparing the Sunday morning sermon. Each additional weekly Bible study added   6 more hours to my preparation.  Sunday morning requires more time because it is usually an intergenerational service which  involves finding appropriate applications and illustrations for all ages.
  3. Funerals and weddings require preaching preparation as well as pastoral care ministry. In addition to ministering to the family, making funeral plans, there is a funeral sermon to prepare as well and the same is also true in wedding

Pastoral Care

  1. Pastoral care involves listening, caring and engaging. The role of pastoral care in a church is much different than that of chaplain in a hospital as the pastor stays engaged when  the crisis is over.
  2. Pastoral care in an intergenerational church is both more rewarding and more challenging than in a church where everyone is of a similar age. People perceive life situations differently at each stage of life thus requiring several different skill sets.  On the same day I have sat on the floor with 2 small children talking about the death of their father and then visited with a 90 year in nursing home about the death of her 65 year old son.
  3. Pastoral care often occurs at ballgames, social events and even in grocery stores. Church people will engage the pastor about personal and spiritual issues wherever they see him. Just because your pastor attends  the Friday night football game does not mean he is not working.


  1. Leadership is not defined by style but is about helping the church to live out the mission and vision of God’s church.  Effective leaders will not keep everyone happy but will focus on keeping the congregation spiritually healthy.
  2. Leadership in an intergenerational church is both more rewarding and more challenging similar to pastoral care. Leadership effectiveness requires time and trust.
  3. Leadership involves inspiration, organization, strategy and accountability.


More about these 3 in future weeks.

And 3 more words….1. See. 2. You. 3.Sunday.


Your interim pastor,

Gary Fenton