Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Assumptions About Pastors

Current assumptions about pastors, their job descriptions, and the ministry in general, are more influenced by western culture rather than Biblical paradigms. For example, Richard Baxter’s book The Reformed Pastor, first published in 1656, has probably shaped Protestant assumptions on the job description of a pastor more than any other ten books combined. Baxter, a Puritan pastor in an English town of 800 homes, “served as every person’s evangelist, catechist, teacher, and preacher; he took upon himself to minister to all sick people and to visit from house to house.”
While sounding good, it's not Biblical. Plus, it leads to burnout.

Today’s pastor understands that as numbers increase in a growing church, such a job description is not only impossible but actually flawed in its basic premise. It professionalizes the ministry, which in reality belongs to all believers. The Christian leader’s responsibility is not to do all the ministry himself, but to train believers to carry out the ministry.

Ephesians 4:11-12 states that God gave pastors, teachers, etc, to the church for the perfecting of the saints........ for the work of the ministry. The goal is not a one-main ministry show, but assured care through the mutual ministry of the body to itself.

Now that's Biblical.