Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Vocation of Pastor

Reformed Theologian and Pastor Michael Horton writes an excellent piece on the vocation of pastor:

It used to be that the pastor had an office and worked in his study, but today the pastor has a job and works in his office. Whereas Peter organized the diaconal office so that the apostles could devote themselves to the Word and to prayer, ideal ministers seem increasingly to be managers, therapists, entertainers, and entrepreneurial businesspeople.

Open up the average issue of Christianity Today to advertisements for pastoral positions and you’ll find descriptions like “team builder,” “warm and personal style,” “outgoing,” “contagious personality,” and “effective communicator.” (Catholic friends tell me that something like this affects Catholicism, too.)

I think they’re looking for a Director of Sales and Marketing, whom they may (or may not) call “Pastor.” I’m not against directors of sales and marketing; I just don’t think that this is what we should be looking for in the way of shepherds.

1 comment:

James Gibson said...

It took me a long time to understand how, after 13 years in parish ministry, I was suddenly "profiled" as "not the senior pastor type." The profilers considered a "senior pastor" to be little more than a talking head on Sunday morning who spent the rest of the week "growing" the church by spending time with everyone in the community except his own flock. As for the Word of God and prayer, well, who needs those things when you have the latest market-tested church growth gimmicks?