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Pastors as Fathers, Caring for Each Member

Commenting on Paul’s statement that he cared for the Thessalonians as a father (1 Thess 2:11), Calvin articulates an important aspect of pastoral ministry.

unquestionably, no one will ever be a good pastor, unless he shows himself to be a  father to the Church that is committed to him. Nor does he merely declare himself to be such to the entire body, but even to the individual members. For it is not enough that a pastor in the pulpit teach all in common, if he does not add also particular instruction, according as necessity requires, or occasion offers. Hence Paul himself, in Acts 20:26, declares himself to be free from the blood of all men, because he did not cease to admonish all publicly, and also individually in private in their own houses. For instruction given in common is sometimes of little service, and some cannot be corrected or cured without particular medicine.

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