Friday, March 18, 2005

The calling of pastor?

A pastor is just a guy with a job. Get past all that nonsense about "The Anointed." A Pastor is not like King Saul or the Apostle John. They are not installed by God into that position. Pastors are Professional Christians. They are hired (and fired) by their employer - the congregation. It's ok.

Pastors should have the conviction that God wants them to be a pastor, but how is that different from anyone else? We should all be doing what we think God wants us to do. A pastor's "calling" is no greater than a "calling" to do anything else.

BUT many point out, the Bible says that teachers will be judged more harshly. There are lots of teachers in the church that are not pastors. All this passage is saying is that teachers and therefore pastors have a higher responsibility. In other words, the layman who teaches Sunday school and the pastor are equal.

How about "Ordination"? Ordination is a vetting process where a bunch of guys who have the job of pastor get together and agree that the new guy can also be a pastor. It is like being admitted to a guild.

How about the list of qualifications for an overseer and elder?

According to 1 Timothy 3:2-7, an overseer must be:
above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money, be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity, not a new convert, have a good reputation with those outside the church.

According to Titus 1:7-9, an overseer must also be:
above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

According to Titus 1:5-6, an elder is:
a man, above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.

In the Wesleyan Church an elder is equated with ordination. The qualifications for elder are easy. The higher calling appears to be overseer. What's an overseer? Is it a district superintendent? Anyway, these thing sound like a good list for board members, Sunday school teachers, lay leaders in the Church - it's just a good list of qualities in Christians.


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