“Pastor” defined & refined.

As I experience a transition in my "professional" life of ministry, I am engaged in a renewed opportunity to search my soul’s commitment to doing what Jesus wants me to do with my life.  I’m especially meditating on whether my definition of "pastor" comes from Scripture… or does it come primarily from North America’s contemporary version of Christianity?  I anticipate as I seek to better define "pastor" from a biblical perspective that I will be refined as a pastor.  Consider these quotes:

"Yet what one senses in the shift to the professional model for ministry is an insufficient attention to our sources, to the foundational texts and exprierences out of which the church emerged.  What is missing is sufficient attention to Scripture." David Bartlett, Ministry in the New Testament, p.15.

"When I became a pastor, I found that most of the counsel and direction I was given came not from Scripture but from the culture… But I didn’t want to follow it; I wanted not only my life but my ministry to be shaped by the Christian gospel revealed in Jesus." Eugene Peterson, The Unnecessary Pastor, p.7.


  1. I’m still working on it. Gone from my mind is the idea of a superman pastor who is an expert in all things. I think that my own effectiveness has been skewed because of my desire to become accomplished at every aspect of management, oration, counseling, study, etc. I wish that somebody had sat down with me many years ago and said, “Ken, you don’t have to be everything in order to be a great pastor.” In other words, I’m trying to trust Jesus more, and myself less. I’m trying to place my confidence in Jesus’ ministry and less in “my” ministry. This is just a start…

  2. ken, you suggest a return to a more Scriptural definition of what it means to be a pastor and have quoted some thought provoking assertions. i wonder if simply stating some Scripture passages and saying, “There, that’s what a pastor is,” has not always led to transformation, or refining to the depths of personal change?
    Some of us want a list of what it means to be a pastor so we can mindlessly pursue a list. But perhaps like Moses, David, the Prophets, and the disciples, the intimate connection between us and God ultimately refines us to the point where we listen to God and simply obey, trusting that he will equip us for whatever it is he has led us to do.
    I think about the disciples and how they “had been with Jesus” and this perplexed the religious leaders of the day as to the disiciples conviction and knowledge of the Truth.
    So, what are some things you’re learning about being a pastor?

  3. a constant reminder for us is that we can do nothing more to please God than to worship him, we can earn no higher place in his eyes, i constantly have to ask myself what is Gods plan/view of a missionary and that is to worship him, and our service comes in a response to that.

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