I have previously mentioned an address I had the opportunity to give which drew together key portions of my biblical and historical argument for the centrality of the oversight of souls in pastoral ministry. That presentation is now a chapter in the book, Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism, which is due out in April 2011.
Over the last few weeks I have been posting quotes which I would have loved to have included in that chapter as they are further confirmations of this theme. In the chapter I cite leading 19th century Baptist pastor Hezekiah Harvey from his book, The Pastor: His Qualifications and Duties, but I have recently come across another valuable quote from him on this topic:
“[The responsibility of a pastor includes] Wise and faithful dealing with the individual souls of his charge. Paul went ‘from house to house,’ from soul to soul: he ‘ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears,’ and he proposes this as an example of ministerial fidelity, requiring the pastor to be ‘instant in season, out of season.’ Evidently he did not regard the work of a minister as done when performed only in the study and the pulpit: it included personal dealing with souls.” (p151-2)
H. Harvey, The Pastor: His Qualifications and Duties, Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1879
May we see the flourishing of this sort of pastoral ministry.