As a pastor I have been working serving churches both in fulltime paid and bi vocational volunteer capacities for a while now. Over the years my understand and convictions of what a pastor is called to do has been tested, refined and challenged. That is not a bad thing, as it has continually driven me to return to Scripture and try to sort out what it is the God is calling me to. This understanding of calling into ministry I believe is a lifelong call, God calls us to a ministry theme for our lives. I think as we age and gain experience that call can look different but the essence of what God calls us to remains the same.
As I have search the Bible to figure this out, I continually return to First and Second Timothy. Timothy was travelling and working with Paul during the stay in Ephesus. We are told that Paul asked Timothy to stay and work in the church in Ephesus, and Paul would continue on to the next place. This is Paul installing Timothy as a pastor over a church. Then as Paul continues on he writes back to Timothy twice to help explain some of the aspects of pastoral work.
These are the nuggets that I have been digging for and putting together. Over the next few days I hope to put out my pastoral philosophy as I understand it from 1 and 2 Timothy. The basic idea is that a pastor is called to these five tasks:
- To faithfully preach and teach all biblical truth
- To be bold in correcting error in the church
- To be an example to the flock
- To be diligent and work hard in ministry
- To be willing to suffer for the Lord