There are many things that are crucial for a pastor to do in order to have an effective ministry. One of those things is to make himself visible. Whether he likes it or not, the pastor is the face of the local church. Depending on how you look at it (rightfully or wrongfully), the local church is defined by their pastor. The pastor represents the church in the community. This is why it is vitally important for the pastor to be visible and actively involved in the local community.
I know there are some that may disagree; however, I believe every pastor should be visible both in person and virtually. Every pastor should be on Facebook, for example, and other social media outlets. Social media is one of the top ways in which people communicate today. In order to be actively connected in the lives of his congregation and community, the pastor must have an active presence on social media.
Every pastor should also have a presence in the local schools. When I first came to serve as pastor of First Baptist Church of Decherd, I led our church to adopt our local elementary school. We have built such a relationship with the school that I am able to walk on campus at anytime and most all the students know me as ‘Pastor Chris.’ Even though, the majority of those students and teachers do not attend our church, in many ways, I am considered as their pastor.
Every pastor should attend the local high school football games. High School football (particularly in the south) is not just a sporting event, it is a way of life. Every Friday night in the fall, the whole town flocks to the stadium to see their boys play. Watching the game is not all that takes place. High School football is a huge social event. The community needs to see pastors at the games. They need to know who those pastors are. It never fails, every home game for the Franklin County football team (Go Rebels!), I have someone walk past me and say, “Hey, Pastor Chris!” and I don’t even know who they are. It’s impossible for me to know everyone, but; most everyone knows me as the Pastor of FBC Decherd. At the writing of this article I am wearing my Franklin County sweatshirt and preparing to go to the game. It’s a great way to connect with the community.
If physically able, every pastor should volunteer in some way in the community. One of the ways I volunteer is coaching in the local community basketball league. Whatever you enjoy and are able to do, every pastor should be heavily involved in the community.
Being a visible pastor brings tremendous responsibility. The pastor must be careful to set a good example as he is being constantly watched. This is why I have to refrain myself from yelling at the refs at ballgames! Even though it may cause you to live in a glass house, every pastor should be known and seen in the community. Dear pastor friend, does your community know who you are? Are you visible on the campus of the local schools? Are you visible at the ballgames? Are you visible online? The more people know you, the more they will know Jesus as you show them Jesus by your love and involvement in their lives.