“It has far too long been assumed that church leaders stand above the nitty-gritty of biblical and theological study; they have done all that, we implicitly suppose, before they come to the office, and now they simply have to work out the “implications.” They then find themselves spending countless hours at their desks running the church as a business, raising money, or working at dozens of other tasks, rather than pouring over their foundation documents and enquiring ever more closely about Jesus whom they are supposed to be following and teaching others to follow….we should discover more and more who Jesus was and is, precisely in order to be equipped to engage with the world that he came to save. And this is the task for the whole church, especially those appointed to leadership and teaching roles within it…
N.T. Wright – The Challange of Jesus (p.31)
Over and over again I have asked myself what a pastor’s needs to be spending his time doing. The business of the church in our culture is important I think. However, I am becoming more and more convinced that the pastorate needs to become respected again as a place where theological thinking takes place in a well thought out way….
I think in our day, when theology is discussed, a pastor’s view is not as valued as the acedemic world. In most cases this assumption is correct. It is just too bad that it is. Until pastors as a whole begin doing the work of theology, this will stay the case (and it probably will because this is our culture…we just need more pastors where it is not the norm).
This is a difficult thing to do in our culture however because we have created these massive coorperate machines we call churches and the role of pastor then becomes managing, leading these machines. We either need to find others to run them and allow the pastor the time to do the business of theology or we might need to downsize our cooperate machines into smaller more authentic communities where pastors are not leading a cooperation, but rather a community of people (i would perfer the second option).