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Archive of posts tagged oversight

No “Safe Distance” Ministry

A main theme of this blog is the necessity of pastors knowing their people in order to be able really to pastor them. A colleague of mine, Justin Barnard, recently pointed me to Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus as a source making a similar point. The following excerpt is a powerful summary of ministry […]

Pastor of a Church vs. Just a Preacher

“He who can only generalize in the pulpit, but has not ability to individualize out of it; who cannot in some measure meet the varieties of religious perplexity, and deal with the various modifications of awakened solicitude; who finds himself disinclined or disabled to guide the troubled conscience through the labyrinths which sometimes meet the […]

Beza, A Pastor Must Know Each of His People by Name

I have made the point often here that the New Testament portrays pastors knowing their people well, and not just speaking to crowds of unknown people. The command to watch over their souls, knowing God will hold us accountable for this (Heb 13:17), requires this as does a ministry in which we “warn everyone” and […]

Luther: ‘the souls of men and women were a charge which came upon him daily’

I recently came across this comment from Luther scholar, Gordon Rupp. It contains a valuable challenge to any who are involved in biblical study and pastoral ministry. “In the National Gallery there is a Flemish landscape. The artist, Patinir, had never seen real mountains, and he practiced with shards of rock which jut grotesquely from […]

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 […]

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, […]

Reformation and the Care of Souls

Happy Reformation Day! I was privileged to speak in chapel today at Union University for our Reformation Day chapel and chose as my topic, “The Care of Souls: The Heart of the Reformation.” My main point is that the Reformation was not simply an academic or abstract discussion but arose from the pastoral care of […]

Shepherding and Church Size

This past week in preparing to preach on Ezekiel 34 I came across this provocative comment in Ian Duguid’s helpful commentary: “If we are to return to truly being shepherds, perhaps we need to reconsider our love affair with big churches.  It is possible to lord it over a flock of thousands; it is possible […]

Calvin, “It is Not Enough to Preach”

A common theme at this site is the importance of extra-pulpit ministry. While upholding the crucial importance of preaching, we also need to uphold the crucial importance of direct, individual ministry to our people. I have pointed to various historical examples who have made this point, and recently I came across a great comment on […]

Martin Bucer, plurality of elders & the oversight of souls

I have previously commended the excellent book Concerning the True Care of Souls, by Martin Bucer. In his discussion of Titus 1:5-7 Bucer argues the text (and others like it) require a plurality of elders and that these elders are to be pastors engaged in the oversight of souls (not a corporate board as is […]