Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Office of the Holy Ministry

What's the difference between a pastor and a DCE? Between a pastor and a principal? Between a pastor and a deaconess?

Recent "Pressure Point" articles in the Reporter have addressed the topic of what happens to a congregation in the transition between pastors. At the end of this month's article, a question is raised: "Why is it that our church body addresses congregational issues when pastors leave and not for called workers -- teachers, DCEs, etc?"

Of course, the response was "Good point" along with a statement that the previous articles should apply to all church workers and not just pastors.

But my thought was different. Yes -- good point! It's true, the effect on a congregation of a pastor's leaving is vastly different from when another church worker leaves. That right there ought to be evidence of the difference in office.

Do we not see that the pastor is in the stead of Christ? The DCE is not. The principal is not. The deaconess is not. That doesn't mean these workers are unimportant. But they do different work. These other offices are good, and the people in them serve the neighbor in God-pleasing ways. But these other offices are not essential to the Church. The pastoral ministry IS. That's why the pastor's departure (whether he has been faithful or a scoundrel) is such a big deal for the congregation.

1 comment:

  1. Very much agreed my dear. Thanks for posting!