Segler on the Care of Souls

Here is a strong comment from 1960 by widely published Baptist pastor Franklin Segler on the centrality of the care of souls in pastoral ministry.

“The care of souls is central in the church’s ministry.  Therefore, pastoral care is a primary function of the pastoral office.  No part of the pastor’s ministry is of greater importance than this ministry to individual persons and families.  Helping other persons to grow up in Christ is the very essence of the Christian ministry.  Ministering to persons in need is the primary objective of the pastoral ministry.  Ideally, preaching and the care of souls are the two major functions of the pastoral office.  Phillip Brooks insisted that the work of the preacher and the pastor belong together and ought not to be separated.  The preacher who is not pastor grows remote, and the pastor who is not preacher grows petty.

History witnesses to the centrality of the care of souls in the church.” 165

“As leader in worship, the pastor is more than an actor performing for his public; he is a guide in the nurture of souls.  As a preacher of the gospel, he speaks to the condition of people as he knows them in the community and in the life of the church.  His preaching is always “pastoral preaching…” 167

“…the care of souls is always the pastor’s concern, whatever the area of his functional ministry.” 168

Franklin M. Segler, A Theology of Church and Ministry. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1960.

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