Today is the final part 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 philosophy of work).
One challenge with my theology of pastoral ministry is that it is broad.
“Being a leading servant who spreads God’s love around the world” is broad and does not give specific tasks or activities that I can do. However, that also gives me a strength because God is the one who has authority over me. Because God has authority over me, I follow His direction and what He wants me to do.
If God wants me to be a leading servant by doing one thing, then at a later time He wants me to be a leading servant by doing something completely different, that is ok because my theology of pastoral ministry has room for that. Because my statement is broad it allows God to be the leader and I can follow the change that He directs me to make. I recently heard Beth Moore teach on this same topic. She realized early in her life that she should surrender to God and commit to following Him, not to surrender and commit to a specific ministry.
Another strength of my theology of pastoral ministry is that I am pretty good at envisioning and thinking. Because I am good at thinking and envisioning about a specific topic I can often dream and see things bigger than others. However, because I can think through my theology of pastoral ministry and see possible ways to serve others, that opens up the possibility that I might see something and pursue a vision that is not God’s vision for my life and ministry. Thus, I need to stay in communication with God and stay committed to Him and His vision for my life.
My theology of pastoral ministry is to be a leading servant who spreads God’s love around the world. This helps to direct me while here on earth. It helps me to follow God’s direction of shepherding those I work with and those who read my writing.
Question: What is your theology of pastoral ministry or philosophy of work?
BIBLIOGRAPHY (for the entire 6 part blog series)
Comfort Ph.D., Philip W and Walter A. Elwell. Tyndale Bible Dictionary: A comprehensive guide to the people, places, and important words of the Bible. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001.
Graham, Billy. Billy Graham Talks to Teen-agers, Wheaton: Miracle Books, 1958.
Graham, Billy. The Journey: Living by Faith in an Uncertain World Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2006.
Moore, Beth. “So Long Insecurity.” Lecture, Catalyst Conference at Gwinnett Arena, Duluth, GA, October 7, 2010.
Roberts-Lewis, Amelia and Tonya D. Armstrong. “Moving the Church to Social Action.” Social Work and Christianity 37, no. 2 (2010): 115-127.
Smith, A. Iona. “A Little Child Shall Lead Them” in “Emerging as Ministers” in Congregations 32, no. 4 (2006): 26-40.
Stace Vega, April. Afterword of More Ready Than You Realize: The Power of Everyday Conversations, by Brian McLaren. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006.
Stanley, Andy. “When Less is More.” Lecture, Catalyst West Conference at Mariners Church, Orange County, CA, April 23, 2010.
Swanson, James A. and Keith Williams, “Dictionary and Index for Hebrew and Greek Word Studies.” in New Living Translation Study Bible, 2225. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2008.
Thompson, James W. Pastoral Ministry According to Paul: A Biblical Vision Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006.
 Beth Moore, “So Long Insecurity” (lecture, Catalyst Conference at Gwinnett Arena, Duluth, GA, October 7, 2010).