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So Why Don’t We Do Something about It?

I’ve been exchanging thoughts with Dave Black about the pastoral role and biblical languages, including textual criticism. One of my difficulties here is that I am more likely dealing with people on a day to day basis who are not well acquainted with their English Bibles, and thus it’s a bit harder to talk about whether they should know textual criticism. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, necessarily. It just means the goal is further away!

But in some comments today I think Dave got right to the heart of the issue. Then another Energion author, Allan R. Bevere, linked to a post by Thom Rainer titled Seven Myths about a Pastor’s Workweek. That reminded me of a short story I wrote some time ago titled Our Pastor is Lazy.

It seems to me that we all know that “pastor” as a “job” is crazy. It isn’t working. We’re wearing out our pastors and we’re not accomplishing the work of the gospel. I find remarkably little disagreement with that.

So my question is this: Why don’t we do something about it?

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  1. Craig Benno says:

    I have been following this line of reasoning for some time now. As a pastor: and I speak in those terms as a God gift to being who I am – rather then the title of what I do; I find I am faced with two questions. Do I continue to pastor people in my community and beyond as I already do, as a member of my local church. Or do I go forward for ordination and take on the title of minister / pastor and bring about change within the body from that position? Decisions, decisions.

  2. Steve Kindle says:

    Mainline denominations have lost the notion of a congregation as an assemblage of God-gifted persons doing ministry together. With the introduction of the Professional Ministry Class, many of these gifts have either been put on the shelf, usurped by the clergy, or left to parachurch organizations. Congregations are culpable as well, as they are often content to hire “hired guns” to do their work for them. People like Bob Cornwall in his “Unfettered Spirit: Spiritual Gifts for the New Great Awakening,” can lead us back to the biblical model of a healthy congregation. Paul used the term “equipping” as the function of pastors. The “doing” then becomes the function of the once equipped. When pastors shirk equipping (at the congregation’s request), and become the (mostly) sole doers, burnout is inevitable.

  3. Steve Kindle says:

    A great one-two combination is to combine Cornwall’s book with Henry Neufeld’s “Identifying Your Gifts and Service.” Both are available through Energion Publications.

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