Sunday, October 22, 2006
The past few months have left me with no time to sit down and blog. I’ve been in Russia for a mission trip, working hard at preaching and leading the church, and neck deep in family affairs. My goal is to blog at least once a week, but with eight kids and a busy church, that can be daunting task!
I’ve been reading an excellent book by Derek Prime and Alister Begg entitled On Being a Pastor. Over the years I’ve read quite a few good books on pastoral ministry, but few that equaled this one. On Being a Pastor is a wonderful mix of pastoral theology and practical application. Perhaps the best chapter is chapter three titled, the Goals and priorities of pastoral ministry. The thrust of the chapter is that the Church is first and foremost Christ’s church. He owns the church by right of creation and redemption. Therefore success must be measured by God’s standard, which of course, is Scripture. This is a much needed correction in our day of church growth conferences and strategies. Pastors must measure success by church health, not necessarily attendance. Don’t get wrong, numbers are meaningful. Each number represents a soul. But what we do with the number of people that God entrusts us with is the measure of success. The authors provide six goals or priorities for pastor who intends to be faithful to God’s calling on his life.
First he must feed the flock. Through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God every pastor is called by God to provide solid Biblical nourishment for the congregation. Second, he must preach the whole counsel of God by faithfully expounding Scripture in its fullness. Both the Old and New Testaments provide truth that our people need in order to be healthy. Third our goal is to present everyone perfect in Christ. What matters most is not the number of people sitting in our pews, but the character and maturity of those people. Fourth, preachers are to prepare God’s people for works of service. Good preaching equips folk for the work of the ministry. No member should be left behind as we help them find and utilize their giftedness. Fifth, we must equip people to be fishers of men. A church that is zealous for God’s glory is zealous for evangelism. Every church should provide its members with training in evangelism. Finally, pastors are to keep watch over themselves and their people. The pastor must guard his own life and keep careful watch for false teaching and unrepentant sin. God help all pastors to be faithful to his goals and priorities.