Skip to content
 

Calvin on the Necessity of Care of Individual Members

Commenting on Acts 20:20 where Paul says he taught the Ephesians “both publicly and house to house,” Calvin states:

This is the second point, that he did not only teach all men in the congregation, but also every one privately, as every man’s necessity did require. For Christ hath not appointed pastors upon this condition, that they may only teach the Church in general in the open pulpit; but that they may take charge of every particular sheep, that they may bring back to the sheepfold those which wander and go astray, that they may strengthen those which are discouraged and weak, that they may cure the sick, that they may lift up and set on foot the feeble,  (Ezekiel 34:4) for common doctrine will oftentimes wax cold, unless it be helped with private admonitions.

Wherefore, the negligence of those men is inexcusable, who, having made one sermon, as if they had done their task, live all the rest of their time idly; as if their voice were shut up within the church walls, seeing that so soon as they be departed, thence they be dumb.

The Reformation example includes not only rich doctrine and robust preaching, but also deep, practical pastoral care for every member of the church.

Leave a Reply