The Office of Elder/Pastor Is More Important Than The Office Of The President…Appreciate Them

A Portrait of Paul is a book to be read by congregants and elders alike. Here is a piece from the forward:

Finding faithful pastors is one of the most difficult tasks facing Christ’s church. Any local church that conscientiously seeks to be biblical should understand the need to bring in and train up men that meet the biblical standard for ministers of the gospel. When the pastoral search begins, the applicant pool may appear to teem with possibilities. Annually, fresh crops of seminary graduates seek respectable assignments, and many of these young men abound with big plans, optimism, and energy. Occasionally, more experienced ministers become available, men who range from battle proven to battle broken. Who will be chosen? Which man is best for your church? Sorting through all the options and finally calling the right person takes considerable effort, sanctified discernment, and earnest prayer.

Is there an ideal pastor? There is one: His name is Jesus Christ. He sets the standard for all who would follow in His footsteps. But do not forget the interwoven and full-orbed perfections of the Lord Jesus: no one was gentler than He or consumed with such holy zeal. No one spoke with such tenderness to those in genuine need or with more bite to those who bitterly opposed the will of God. He was a true friend of sinners and a fierce enemy of hypocrites. He could call a child to Himself and embrace him; He could make a whip of cords and drive thugs from the temple of God. He was loved with profound attachment by His friends; He was hated with deep loathing by His enemies. At times thousands hung upon His words; He died a deserted and forsaken man.

Those who follow in the footsteps of a crucified Christ partake of His character, though always imperfectly. Would you want such a man to shepherd you? Suppose someone were to suggest a man with a reputation for stirring up trouble, although he has seen many people converted. Wherever he goes, he seems to divide opinion. He is often run out of town before he seems to make much progress, sometimes causing riots and disturbances. Sometimes he is so quick to stir up antagonism that he cannot avoid a beating, and his body bears witness to the bruising he has borne. He would be ugly even without those scars and is a powerful, though not an overly polished, speaker. He is a regular troubler of the civil and religious authorities and has the jail record to prove it. He struggles with several chronic health conditions, sometimes being completely, albeit temporarily, debilitated by them. He is not always easy to work with, and some of his companions have gone their separate ways; in fact, some of those with whom he has worked are not even walking with Jesus any longer. He is in many respects a driven man, full of energy and with no appetite for the status quo, always unsettling things and people. When there is tension in his relationship with a church, he will write letters dealing with their faults and defending his own calling and reputation. Despite the fruits of his ministry, he has left no megachurches behind him, but rather small groups of faithful men and women. If you instinctively back away from the idea of considering such a man as a pastor and preacher, consider this: you would be in danger of the great folly of rejecting the apostle Paul. You could hardly make a worse decision.*

Now go out and get the book here.

*Ventura, Rob; Walker, Jeremy (2011-12-27). A Portrait of Paul (Kindle Locations 223-247). Reformation Heritage Books. Kindle Edition.


About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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