Friday, 11 February 2011

roads less travelled

This is certainly not in any way a criticism of our Sidmouth conference. I've already said how I feel, which was a genuine appreciation and not a pc stance for everyone to feel better (I guess most people know I don't tend towards lying as an acceptable posture for pastoral care in any case!)
However, I'm having to think about something else I'm getting ready for where I've been asked to think about some key issues and I've returned to Ephesians where we've been this week.
Here's my outline - simply to give opportunity for anyone to tell me I'm up some wrong trees!

Our understanding of the Ephesian church has grown enormously – we know what it looks like, but we don’t what it feels like!
Our study of the bible, in Ephesians 4 for example, has enabled us to pass more degrees than ever, but in a generation when we are succeeding in shrinking the Church.

The pastor as cultivator (4:11-12)

We might believe in various ministries, but where does the pastoral leader fit anymore?
As ‘leadership’ has grown in our Baptist consciousness, so has the once clearly recognised role of the ‘pastor’ diminished.
When many are predicting the ‘need’ for more bi-vocational Ministers, how do we cling on to our living?

The pastor as follower (4:1-4)

We might believe equipping the saints, but who is the equipment?
As pastoral ministry becomes ever more littered with legislative concerns, is the relegation of character down the list of ‘competencies’ now in the second division?
If we are not Christ-like enough, then who can we send into the world?

The pastor as multiplier (4:12-13)

We might believe in equipping the saints, but how do we do it?
The ministry of Jesus would not appear to be the one we study, or we would be more greatly concerned with what, rather than how much, we reproduce.
Jesus didn’t do anything he wasn’t happy to be multiplied.

Steve Gaukroger mentioned the commentary by Harold Hoehner, which I ordered whilst away  - Amazon tell me it's on its way. The wonders of the internet!

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