My Theology of Pastoral Ministry (part 3)

December 13, 2011 — 1 Comment

Today is part three 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).

Clipart of a Pastor. Photo courtesy Microsoft Word.
Ministry is the work that we do to serve and help others.

A great definition of Bible-based ministry is written by James Thompson when he asserts, “ministry is participation in God’s work of transforming the community of faith until it is ‘blameless’ at the coming of Christ.”[1] This ministry of helping others to become blameless at Christ’s coming is a gift that is both strenuous and amazing at the same time,[2] and it can happen in any area or context. With my theology of pastoral ministry to be a leading servant who spreads God’s love around the world, I believe that the work I do should be focused.

One of the most successful evangelists in the past century, Billy Graham, who devoted his life to evangelism and winning souls for Christ, stated early in his ministry that “concentration is important. The [person] who has a general interest in everything usually isn’t good at anything.”[3] Another pastor, Andy Stanley, who is considered one of the most influential Christian voices in America, often teaches that we as leaders should “only do what only you can do.”[4] This means that for myself as a pastor and leader I need focus on doing only what I can do.

At United Way of Stanislaus County, I should work hard to share my faith and attempt to nurture the faith of other people around the office. No one else talks about their faith until I bring it up, so I must do what only I can do: shepherd those people at work. If I had not given that Bible to my coworker, I highly doubt anyone else would have. If I had not talked with the lady who sits across the hall from me about why she is an atheist, no one else probably would have (and I do not think anyone has done that since).

In the context of my writing about leadership during nights and weekends, I need to share biblical principles and how they can be lived out in businesses and nonprofits. Not many people are willing to do that for free; thus I must do that as part of what only I can do to serve others.

Question: Do you believe your work is about serving others? Why or why not?


[1] James W. Thompson, Pastoral Ministry According to Paul: A Biblical Vision (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 20.

[2] A. Iona Smith, “A Little Child Shall Lead Them” in “Emerging as Ministers” in Congregations 32, no. 4 (2006): 34.

[3] Billy Graham, Billy Graham Talks to Teen-agers (Wheaton: Miracle Books, 1958), 29-30.

[4] Andy Stanley, “When Less is More” (lecture, Catalyst West Conference at Mariners Church, Orange County, CA, April 23, 2010).

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific University and master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I also may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."