Thursday, March 30, 2023

Teaching or Pastoring

I read from the Early Church in the first 400 years that their best theologians and scholars were bishops of churches. Even the great St. Augustine pastored a relatively small church in North Africa but through his preaching and writings influenced millions down the ages. John Calvin was also a pastor of the Genevan church but no one could claim greater scholarly achievements like Calvin could for a few hundred years after him. Luther might have been a full-time Professor but he was also pastor of his Wittenberg congregation. But nowadays, there is too much division and specialisation in church or in Seminary. It is hard to do both and excel in them both. You are either a lecturer or professor or a church pastor. Sometimes I wish I could do both.

I just told a good friend that I think my pastoral anointing is stronger than my teaching anointing. Not that I don't enjoy teaching, and there is a great need of great scholars and teachers who have been pastors and sufficient pastoral experience to train students, most of whom are training to be pastors. But there is also a need for scholars as the Gospel of Matthew clearly says. Matthew 13 and 23 tell us that there is a role for the scribe in the kingdom of heaven. Likewise Christ Jesus will send prophets, wise men and scribes to teach and warn His people. Only on Sunday I defended myself against the accusation that I was only an intellectual. Even my previous association with Trinity Theological College had some baggage to the overly charismatic and spiritual people. I told the congregation that it was true that God gave me a good intellect and intelligence just like Daniel. But Daniel was a spiritual person. He prayed publicly three times a day, he has visions and can interpret dreams. Yet he was a wise man and a formidable intellectual, ten times better than all the clever people in Babylon.

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