What Kind of Pastor am I?
A Pastor in the Line of Peter and Paul
I had never planned on being a pastor when I first sensed a need/call to do ministry. I wanted to do apologetics (defend the faith) instead. I had seen almost no pastors who could do effective apologetics, even if they were effective in Bible knowledge. I guess I didn’t want to be like ‘those guys/gals’ so I did not consider it. Over a period of almost a year, a local church kept bothering me (that’s what it felt like) to apply for a pastoral position.
I asked my pastor about it and he thought I would make a great pastor. I was also re-reading some favorite verses of mine in 1 Peter about defending the faith and contemplating if it could work for there to be an ‘apologetics oriented’ pastor. I then came across Peter’s advice to the shepherds (pastors) he was writing to. 1 Peter 5:1-2 was “keep watch over the flock under your care.” I thought about it, and I realized I did not have a flock under my care.
Moreover, in the same book, Peter was the one to tell us to defend the faith (1 Peter 3:15). Peter told us to defend the faith and to keep watch over the flock (pastor). Apologetics and pastoring could go together after all! I then applied for the post and was graciously received as the pastor of First Congregational Church in Hillsboro, WI in October of 2013. I have since built my pastoral life on the dual role of defending the faith and shepherding the flock of God. This means developing the mind and pointing the flock to Jesus Christ. This means defending the faith and guiding in faith and morals. That is my primary pastoral method.
I see this practically in the work of Paul’s writing (and reasoning) with the church leaders and laity over moral, doctrinal, and organizational needs. Any look at Corinthians or Galatians should suffice to show the need for pastors to be able to navigate tough personal and intellectual terrain. However, even more we find something similar being worked out in the way the stories of Jesus are told in Mathew, Mark, Luke-Acts, and John. These accounts of Christ are emphasized in a way to navigate local church conflicts or correct false understandings of Jesus in different cultures. I view my role as pastor to do the same thing in the local context of LWC that I have been entrusted to serve.
What kind of Pastor am I? A classical Pastor in the line of Peter and Paul.
If you want more information on Elders, Bishops, and Pastors in the New Testament, here is some writing I have done on the subject. "What does it mean to be an elder/bishop/pastor?"