Many wonder what, exactly, do pastors do? Most realize that clergy are busy people, but are not sure what pastors really do. The goal of this blog is to talk about one of the most misunderstood roles of the pastor – namely his role as a theologian. This is true of all pastors, not just senior pastors.
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Paul’s 13 letters in the New Testament are clear that a pastor’s primary role is to live and teach the Scriptures to his people. In short, pastors are called to be theologians. Unfortunately, many pastors have simply become middle managers who run programs and keep the ministry gears turning. However, this is an abdication of our role. We are called to be men who think, study the Scriptures, invest in others, and teach the Word of God. We are called to be Bible scholars and theologians. This is one of our primary callings. Pastors are called to be public intellectuals – who teach theology.

Unfortunately, theology was relegated to the academy after the Enlightenment. It was taken out of the church, and put into the hands of academic scholars. They became the new “experts”. And the results were devastating. Germany produced generations of scholars who attacked the Bible, dissected its contents, and destroyed the faith of thousands. Dr. Klaus Berger, emeritus professor at the University of Heidelberg, argues that two centuries of liberal Biblical scholarship in Europe – promoted atheism, destroyed churches, and converted no one to Christ. Theology was pushed out of the churches.

Here’s a shocker: in 1840, almost all university presidents in America were clergymen. Prior to 1840, ALL university presidents were pastors! Of the 121 theologians who were called to work on the Westminster Confession from 1643-1653, ALL were pastors! This seems inconceivable today. The culture simply does not think of pastors as being theologians. But that is one of our primary callings. This is true of worship pastors, care pastors, missions pastors, youth pastors, children’s pastors and senior pastors. We are called to be men who study the Word, know the Word, live the Word and teach the Word. Men who have courage to lovingly confront the false teachings of the day. Men who study to show themselves approved unto God, and to equip the saints of God.

by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor