Covering the Angles

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by David Ekstrom, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. David Ekstrom

    David Ekstrom
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    I just started Eugene Peterson's book, "Covering the Angles." Peterson says that what a pastor is supposed to be doing is praying, listening to God in Scripture and giving spiritual guidance. That's his profession. Now, his job is stated in terms of preaching, getting the church to grow, and administrating. The people judge him by how well he does his job, but God called him to fulfill his profession. While the job and the profession shouldn't be in conflict, in actual fact they are. No one sees a pastor fulfilling his profession. They judge him by how well he does his job. So spending time in prayer and study of Scripture is actually discouraged. People want their temporal needs met and that sometimes is in conflict with their true spiritual needs.
    Peterson's theses is that modern pastors have compromised. They have ignored their profession and focused on their job. He calls such pastors "shopkeepers," men who want to please their existing customers and steal customers from their rivals. Instead of doing what they do to draw people closer to God, ministry becomes consumer-oriented. For example, do you dare tell that couple who wants (and will pay) for you to marry them that they are not fit candidates for Holy Matrimony? Etc., etc., etc.
    In my own ministry, I find that the temptation to compromise consists of a carrot and a stick. If I do the wedding, they will pay me and might come to my church. If I won't do it, the church down the street will. Then I'll have to face my board with why so-and-so left the church.
    I've just finished the intro, but already this seems like a powerful book.
    A footnote to this. When I was seeking my current position, I came across a place that hired people to do exegesis. This business involved people exegeting Scripture for an hourly pay rate. Why? Because the company resold the research done to pastors of certain mega-churches to cut down on their time in biblical research. A premium was placed upon an ability to provide illustrations and applications of the text to today's congregations. In other words, some pastors of mega-churches aren't even writing their own sermons! I'm not making this up!
    What say you?
     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I don't know if you just want pastors to answer you, but I just want to answer this one part. I think if a pastor is not writing his own sermons, he is not following what God called him to do. I realize pastoring is much more than giving sermons, but giving the sermon is very crucial - it shows where you stand as the pastor and it sets a tone in terms of doctrine and biblical orthodoxy (or not). It also seems deceptive to me for a pastor to stand up there and give a sermon he did not research and write.
     
  3. David Ekstrom

    David Ekstrom
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    I agree, Marcia. It seems to me that a non-negotiable qualif for a pastor is to preach the word.
    I recall one of my favorite pastors. To be honest, he couldn't preach his way out of a paper bag, if you mean pulpiteering ability. But he was a great husband and father, a great soul-winner, a man of wonderful integrity. His sermons may not have been "great" (whatever that means) but they were true to the Bible and they were HIS. I'd rather have him for a pastor than some glamor-boy business exec whose committment to God's inerrant word was questionable.
     
  4. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    I can't even believe such a business exists.
     

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