Today is part two of a series of six blog posts where I am sharing my Theology of Pastoral Ministry. (You can read yesterday's post here.) By sharing this theology of pastoral ministry I hope to encourage you to develop your own theology of pastoral ministry (or philisophy of work).
Understanding who God is is very important in order to have a clear view of my own theology of pastoral ministry.
Evangelist and author, Billy Graham, explains that, “You will never understand who you are until you understand who God is.” As Mr. Graham stated, it is important for us to know who God is before we can legitimately know who we are. In my view, God is all-powerful, ruling over the earth and all things. God is the holy trinity, the one who is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and I am under His supreme authority serving others.
I view myself being under God’s authority much like the Roman officer described in this passage of Matthew:
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.
I am not sure if I completely understand this story theologically, but I do understand that the Roman officer knew Jesus was here on earth under God’s authority. Because Jesus was under God’s authority He was able to do what He was supposed to do—perform miracles.
Similar to Jesus being under God’s authority, I too am under God’s authority. God has a plan that I do not know about and that is at times hard to understand, but I do realize that He has a plan and story for me to fit into. For some of us that story is to be full-time ministers where we shepherd and pastor people for a living. God employs others, such as me, to do pastoral ministry in a semi-formal way where it is not their full-time job but they have received some specific training that allows them to minister to others and serve them.
 Billy Graham, The Journey: Living by Faith in an Uncertain World (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2006), 13.
 Matthew 8:5-10, 13