David Fitch has a great post on why a multiplicity of pastors are needed for any growing fellowship. And ideally, for any fellowship. I have been reminded again and again that pastoral work takes time. First I must describe what I mean by pastor. I see pastoring, or being a Pastor, as, in the Biblical sense, shepherding, or being a shepherd under the Good and Great Shepherd, Jesus. Like Peter, such work involves feeding and taking care of Christ's sheep (John 21). Of course we're taking on the Biblical analogy and model of likening us people to sheep.
To do this right takes a commitment of time. You cannot pastor well, if your work in listening to and getting to know others is marked by haste. While certainly, there will be either a tight or looser deadline one has to meet (normally), there should be enough time to, in a relaxing way, kick off the shoes, so to speak, and listen intently as well as converse. And of course this must begin at home. If we don't have time to do it there, than we don't have time to do it anywhere else.
This kind of work is, no doubt, demanding. But those gifted in this way need to give themselves to it. And such enjoy the opportunities. We must simply beware of following a model which may be worldly, and not Scriptural. Successful in the eyes of the world, but failing in God's eyes.
These thoughts lend all the more sense to David Fitch's point. The lone senior pastor, in today's church, may not make sense any more. Unless one is referring to a home church. Which hopefully would be joined to other home churches, each having at least one person who can pastor.
Jesus was the eminent model of this. His disciples, first, were with him. Then on mission. You learn by observing. Especially from those who impact you, directly. You then end up doing, what they did. This was surely true of Jesus' disciples. They did what he had done, in their own, unique, God-gifted way. And women with them, surely did the same. And we now have the Spirit of Christ to guide us in this same work.
I am assuming here that pastoral work is more than reading, studying and perhaps preparing a sermon, or a teaching time. Though that's an important, essential part, as well. It must include this shepherding of sheep. We sheep need to be taken care of, one by one. And in turn, sheep can begin to help other sheep.
What about your experience in this? Or thoughts you might have here?