Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Qualifications of Pastor-Teachers

The qualifications of pastor-teachers are determined by their role. They will need strong people skills, balanced with the gift of discernment. Pastor-teachers will do a lot of discipling, so they will need experience in teaching new Christians. They should have the ability to get on with all types of people and see the best in them. Pastor-teachers should be good at building strong relationships between diverse people. They will be experts on the “one another stuff”.

The elders have an important role in protecting the church from sickness, so they should have gifts of healing in their midst (James 5:14,15). To be recognised as a pastor, a person will need to have proved that they have the ability to deal with sickness. They should have demonstrated this by resisting sickness in their household/family, before being appointed to the position of elder.

The passage on qualifications of an elder in 1 Tim 3:5 says that an elder will “care for the church”. The Greek word translated as “care” is only used in one other place in the New Testament. The Good Samaritan used the same word when he asked the innkeeper to “care” for the wounded man until he was well (Luke 10:34,35). This suggests that a person should not be appointed as a pastor-teacher if they do not have victory over sickness in their family.

When David was a shepherd, he dealt confidently with a bear and a lion. He did not just chase them away, but killed them so they would not attack again. Pastor-teachers are not wimps. They should be tough enough to deal with evil with the same confidence as David (Being Church Where We Live, p.80.)

Jesus had victory over sickness. He saw this as a sign of the impact of his kingdom.
The Apostles of Acts had victory over sickness, indicating the further advance of the Kingdom of God.

The modern church does not have victory over sickness. This might be a sign that the Kingdom of God is flagging. I wonder if the problem is with the leadership?

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