On the Gift of Pastor

I see a flurry of interest of late on the blogosphere in Viola & Barna’s book Pagan Christianity, specifically the chapter on “the Pastor.”

Here is a quote:

THE PASTOR. He is the fundamental figure of the Protestant faith.  So prevailing is the pastor in the minds of most Christians that he is often better known, more highly praised, and more heavily relied upon than Jesus Christ Himself!

Remove the pastor and most Protestant churches would be thrown into a panic.  (pp. 105-6, Pagan Christianity, emphasis mine)

Now, I know that this book tends to shock some because it is so radically challenging to the system that most Christians are used to.  But one must understand that this book is one in a series that Viola has written on the subject, with Reimagining Church as the “positive” to the “negative” of Pagan Christianity.

That said, here are my comments on the subject…

If, as Eph 4 states, the church was given pastor(s) as a gift, then perhaps if a church were to remove the title/office of Pastor and seek out those in the body who are gifted as pastor, then the body would be well served by a multitude of pastors gifted by the Spirit of Christ.

I do believe this is the essence of Viola’s chapter…the positive to the negative of removing a Pastor.

You see, there are indeed alternatives to the common practices.

I have much more to write on this, and will do so in a future post.

Till then, any thoughts or comments???


3 thoughts on “On the Gift of Pastor

  1. I would go further to say that those mentioned in Eph 4:11 were not a regular part of a local church but itinerant in their ministry, so that they served the universal church (or as much as they could help).

  2. Pastors vary in the extent of their responsibility and gifting. It amuses me that churches are happy to embrace pastors but resist apostles and prophets. Strange!

    1. It is interesting that Pastors survived and even morphed into an office/paid position. Viola contends that this was popularized by the Protestant Reformers’ emphasis on the proper teaching and preaching of the Word.

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