Thursday, July 23, 2015

Issues in Pastoral Ministry: Two Articles

3 Occupational Hazards for Pastors

Every occupation has its hazards. As John Calvin noted, “The nobility is full of vanity, of excessive pomp, of pride, of licentiousness and insolence. . . . Justice is full of favors, of avarice, of tricks. . . . Merchandising is full of lies, of crooked deals, of perjury, of deceptions. . . . In brief, there is no vocation in which a great deal of abuse is not committed” (Treatises Against the Anabaptists, 278).

We still hold stereotypes about the sins most common to each vocation. We believe financiers are prone to greed, traveling salesman to philandering, chefs to gluttony, construction workers to lasciviousness, bureaucrats to sloth, entertainers to addiction, and baggage handlers to wrath (just kidding, maybe). Keep reading

The Pastor's Personal Holiness

Robert Murray McCheyne famously said, “The greatest need of my people is my personal holiness.”

Now, before the critiques are lobbed at McCheyne for having too-high a view of pastors, let’s be clear, McCheyne is not implying he is more important than Christ. This is the same man who said, “Our soul should be a mirror of Christ; we should reflect every feature: for every grace in Christ there should be a counterpart in us” and “For every look at self, take ten looks at Christ.” Rather, by stating the importance of the pastor’s personal holiness, he is echoing Paul in 1 Timothy 4 when he says, “Keep a close watch on your life and doctrine. Persist in this, for so by doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Needed words for the pastor in our day. Needed words for the pastor in every age. Nothing is more essential to a pastor’s calling or the ministry he extends to others than his own personal holiness.

As I reflect over the past decade of watching fellow brothers in the pastorate fail morally, the threats seem to come in four primary categories. Dear pastor, be on-guard against each. Keep reading

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