2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 725
From Wesleyan Discipline
725. The pastor shall administer the spiritual and temporal affairs of the work in keeping with The Discipline and other general and district regulations and shall be responsible:
- (1) To diligently study the Scriptures, pray, and do the work assigned.
- (2) To seek, by all means, the conversion of sinners, the sanctification of believers, and the upbuilding of God’s people in the most holy faith.
- (3) To pray to God for and with the flock.
- (4) To feed the flock by reading, expounding, teaching, and preaching the Word.
- (5) To have the general guidance, under the Holy Spirit, of the religious services, including the midweek service, appointing musicians (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:870) and cultivating the practice of corporate worship.
- (6) To administer, if an ordained (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:1), commissioned (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3059:2a) or licensed minister (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3044:1), the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Each pastor is encouraged to provide for the observance of the Lord’s Supper at least once each month, but is required to do so at least once every three months (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:293). A supply pastor shall secure the services of an ordained (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:1), commissioned (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3059:2) or licensed minister (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3044:1) who is a pastor, for such observance (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3260:2), except when authorization has been granted by a district superintendent as provided in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3260:2.
- (7) To solemnize, if an ordained (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:1), commissioned (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3059:2a) or licensed minister (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3044:1), the rite of matrimony, in keeping with the Scriptures and The Discipline (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:265:6; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3111-3112); to counsel with those being married and those already married, emphasizing the spiritual values in all phases of marital and parental life, seeking to develop the spiritual ideals and resources necessary to build permanent unions and godly homes (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:410:6).
- (8) To comfort the bereaved and to bury the dead.
- (9) To provide pastoral guidance and oversight through visitation and counsel to the members of the church and to others in need of a pastor’s help. The minister, as counselor, has the right to protect the conversation with a counselee as privileged communication.
- (10) To keep all members fully conversant with the Christian life-style set forth in the Membership Commitments and the biblical basis for the same, and to maintain with diligence and love adherence to these membership requirements (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:260-268).
- (11) To be responsible for the instruction of all prospective members in the Articles of Religion, Membership Commitments and polity of The Wesleyan Church, and in the meaning and purpose of church membership, holding or arranging for membership classes for all members (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:566-570; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:782:8; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:880:11).
- (12) To administer the ritual of membership and to give the right hand of fellowship on behalf of the church to new members (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:553:4; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5550-5595).
- (13) To report the names and addresses of members who have moved away to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration of The Wesleyan Church (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:598).
- (14) To grant, in conjunction with the local church secretary, letters of transfer, recommendation or withdrawal (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:575; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:590; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:592; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:6000-6040).
- (15) To receive any complaint or accusation against any member of a church under personal care, and to give such prompt and careful attention as required under the Judiciary (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5000-5008) and the General Board Policy on Church Discipline and Ministerial Restoration, and to refer any matter requiring official investigation or judicial proceedings to the local board of administration for disposition (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:782:12).
- (16) To preside as chair of the local church conference and the local board of administration except as otherwise provided (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:635; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:770-773), and to oversee and direct all departments and local church organizations as the chief executive officer.
- (17) To serve as a voting member of boards and committees established by the local board of administration, and to meet with boards and committees as time will permit.
- (18) To meet with women’s ministry, Wesleyan Youth, spiritual formation and any of their committees as deemed best and to call a special meeting of an auxiliary or any of its committees; to serve as an ex officio member of the executive committees of the auxiliaries, and as chair, or to appoint a representative as chair, of the nominating committees of the auxiliaries.
- (19) To give leadership to the missionary, evangelistic, educational, and devotional programs of the local church in harmony with objectives and programs of the district and the General Church; to request the approval of the district superintendent for the use of an evangelist or worker who is not a member of The Wesleyan Church for a revival or any other event (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:24).
- (20) To promote all the interests of the General Church and the district in the local church, in the manner and to the extent authorized by the General Conference, the General Board, and the district conference.
- (21) To instruct the people concerning the financial plans of the General Church and of the district, and to see, together with the local board of administration, that the United Stewardship Fund and all other obligations are met in full; and to protect the church from solicitations not authorized by the General Church or the district.
- (22) To promote stewardship, emphasizing tithing and the storehouse plan as a part of the Christian’s total stewardship (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:460-475), and to see that tithes and freewill offerings are collected regularly.
- (23) To see that trustees are elected and all church property properly secured according to The Discipline and the local laws, with all legal papers submitted to the district superintendent for approval.
- (24) To see that no steps are taken involving the church in financial liability without proper authorization from the local board of administration and local church conference, or without the approval of the district board of administration when such financial liability involves the mortgaging or other encumbering of the church property (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:655:12–13; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:782:28–32; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1233:33).
- (25) To see that all property and building transactions are carried out as set forth in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:4700-4720.
- (26) To circulate holiness literature and to use in all educational departments and agencies curriculum materials provided by The Wesleyan Church.
- (27) To have general supervision of the spiritual formation of the local church, organizing classes for the instruction of adults, youth, and children in the Word of God and for Christian living, attending all sessions possible, promoting the faithful attendance of members, and providing for the instruction and inspiration of the leaders in spiritual formation.
- (28) To enlist youth for the gospel ministry, and for missionary and other special work, encouraging and helping them to prepare for their God-appointed task at educational institutions provided by The Wesleyan Church; to sign, in conjunction with the local church secretary (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:830:3), licenses for lay ministers granted by the local church conference (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:655:7; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:782:20); and to have the oversight over all lay ministers employing their services as constantly and effectively as possible.
- (29) To recommend to the local board of administration a potential associate pastor (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:738); to nominate to the local board of administration an assistant pastor (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:741) or a lay assistant to the pastor (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:744); to nominate to the local board of administration all members of the employed staff, except the custodians (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:782:17; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:856:5); and to supervise, with the assistance of the local board of administration, the services of all employed staff members, including the custodians (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:782:17).
- (30) To see that up-to-date files are kept on church constituency, membership, Sunday school enrollment, the membership of subsidiary organizations, and subscriptions to the various district publications, and to be ready to turn over such lists to the successor in office (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:610; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:830:2, 5; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:895; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:928).
- (31) To see that adequate historical records and financial records are maintained for the church (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:610; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:842:2, 6; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:898).
- (32) To see that all necessary data are collected for the various statistical and financial reports, and to present reports to the local board of administration monthly, to the local church conference at its regular sessions, to the district superintendent as requested, to the district conference annually on forms approved by the General Superintendent, and to various General Church or district departmental officers as required.
- (33) To attend district conference sessions, institutes, and conventions planned for edification by the General Church or the district, and to participate in the life and work of the district and the General Church as opportunity affords.