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27 August 2011

A Healthy Pastor (or a healthy Church?)

Fellow blogger J. R. Briggs posts this piece called 10 keys to being a healthy pastor. I found it via, essentially a blogging clearinghouse for all things faith-related.

You must read Briggs' post before you read my response below. I'm not interested so much in whether or not you agree with me, but I'm interested in whether or not you've done due diligence in searching the Word for the role of "pastor."

Is there any reason to do this? Why would we question something that's so cemented in modern Church thought as the role of the pastor?

What if the predictable outcome of implementation of this role is a Church that is lethargic and timid; a group that relies on one person to fill a role that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, rightfully owns?

What if it is extra-Biblical? Then would it be worth examining?

Here is my response to my brother's post:

These seem like reasonable pieces of advice for the believer who manages people in a business, but I don't see anything in Scripture that would advise this as rest/relief for a believer whose role is one of many operative ones in the Church. In my Bible I don't even see Jesus having to perform the duties we foist upon the average pastor.

Scripture shows and tells us that the Church is a multi-faceted, living expression of Jesus Christ plopped down in the middle of a world that does things "normally." We are aliens, to some extent. You've described relief for a role that, after much searching, I can't find in the Word. It's a role that I believe post-NT history and tradition have defined. It isn't an office or role I see named or practiced in the Bible.

I tend to think that this is why we have to teach such a balancing act. "Pastor" as we know it is a role no one person was intended to fill.

(Here endeth my response)

I'd love to know what you think.


Christy said...

Well, considering that I'm just now on the path of discovering the answers to these questions, I can't say anything with complete confidence just yet. I do pray continually and hope that one day (preferably soon) I will be able to study this thoroughly with fellow believers who are willing to be Spirit led as opposed to tradition led.

Caryn said...

In Acts 6, after the church has grown from 120 people to over 3000 in one day, with more added each day, Peter and the original 12 disciples find themselves overwhelmed with responsibilities. Not wanting to neglect their God given ministries to attend to the physical needs of the flock, 7 men who are full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom are found to help in caring for those in the church who are in need. These were the first deacons. If deacons truly did the work of deacons in today's churches as they did in the early church, the pastor/pastors would be free to continue in the work they have been given to do, and allow the body to work together in meeting other physical and spiritual needs.

jan owen said...

Great post Dean. I agree. Which is why I'm such a proponent for shared leadership. I think it's healthier for everyone AND the church. And not just from a work perspective. But also think of how much more wisdom and understanding we'd have to draw from if we TRULY had shared leadership. It's harder in some ways, but in other ways it's easier.

Another thing I do not see in scripture in the local church - one man having a "vision" that everyone must fall in line with.......

jan owen said...

I will add however, that I do think he made good points for anyone in leadership of any sort. These are things we really need to practice regardless. Right?

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