What does a United Methodist pastor do?
Well, here is what he or she is responsible to do according to our Book of Discipline:
- To preach the Word of God, lead in worship, read and teach the Scriptures, and engage the people in study and witness.
- To counsel persons with personal, ethical, or spiritual struggles.
- To perform the ecclesial acts of marriage and burial.
- To visit in the homes of the church and the community, especially among the sick, aged, imprisoned, and others in need.
- To maintain all confidences inviolate, including confessional confidences except in the cases of suspected child abuse or neglect, or in cases where mandatory reporting is required by civil law.
- To administer the sacraments of baptism and the Supper of the Lord according to Christ’s ordinance.
- To encourage the private and congregational use of the other means of grace.
- To be administrative officer of the local church and to assure that the organizational concerns of the congregation are adequately provided for.
- To administer the temporal affairs of the church in their appointment, the annual conference, and the general church.
- To participate in denominational and conference programs and training opportunities.
- To lead the congregation in racial and ethnic inclusiveness.
- To embody the teachings of Jesus in servant ministries and servant leadership.
- To give diligent pastoral leadership in ordering the life of the congregation for discipleship in the world.
- To build the body of Christ as a caring and giving community, extending the ministry of Christ to the world.
- To participate in community, ecumenical, and inter-religious concerns and to encourage the people to become so involved and to pray and labor for the unity of the Christian community.