Christianity,  Theology/Bible

Michael Horton on “The Pastor’s Vision”

If you are not a subscriber to Touchstone magazine, you should be. The March issue has an outstanding article by Michael Horton on what pastoral ministry ought to look like. Horton writes:

‘It used to be that the pastor had an office and worked in his study, but today the pastor has a job and works in his office. Whereas Peter organized the diaconal office so that the apostles could devote themselves to the Word and to prayer, ideal ministers seem increasingly to be managers, therapists, entertainers, and entrepreneurial businesspeople.

‘Open up the average issue of Christianity Today to advertisements for pastoral positions and you’ll find descriptions like “team builder,” “warm and personal style,” “outgoing,” “contagious personality,” and “effective communicator.” (Catholic friends tell me that something like this affects Catholicism, too.)

‘I think they’re looking for a Director of Sales and Marketing, whom they may (or may not) call “Pastor.” I’m not against directors of sales and marketing; I just don’t think that this is what we should be looking for in the way of shepherds.’

You can read the rest of the article here: “All Crossed Up.”

Once again, if you are not a subscriber to Touchstone, you should be. Click here to sign-up now. You’ll be glad you did.


  • Nace

    I just read the article and I have mixed thoughts about it. I think he overly simplifies the issue of the evangelical problem, especially in his polarization of the differing ministry values. But I do agree critic on the dangers of possible modern day pastors that can model the ministry of Charles Finney. The church needs to be more than our grandfather’s “old time religion” but instilling the NEED for the church to be an integral part of the disciples life for the benefit of the family, community, and the world.

    “To become a Christian was already to begin one’s lifelong journey in the company of pilgrims under the care of the church. Discipleship was defined by churchmanship. Personal faith in Christ was never set over against active membership in the visible body of Christ.” I say amen to that…

  • Chris Wilson

    Honest question: Was Finney a believer as far as we can know? I don’t know much about him, but of the little I have read about his theology of the atonement, can one believe what he believes and be a Christian?

  • Brian

    This is indeed a great article in the true meaning and purpose of the pastoral ministry. We need more shepherds and less cheerleaders. I appreciate this article because the pastor of a church I was once a part of often criticized me for not being hip enough or fun enough and even said to my face I am not a fun person (he doesn’t know me and I did not feel comfortable opening up to him because if these kinds of comments). Well, my wife and I moved on to pastor a church on our own here in the Grand Canyon National Park and were more or less replaced (at the other church) by a youth pastor and his wife who are funny and skinny (yp is funny, wife is skinny) – so I guess he got what he wanted, funny and skinny, but he lost out on someone who is stronger in pastoral care and teaching issues than in being a joker. Ah well.

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.