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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thoughts On Looking For A Pastor

There are so many things to think about when considering pastors and churches.

I want a man (yes, that is a Biblical requirement for an elder) that holds to the Gospel of Scripture, loves God, holds to the 5 Solas, the Biblical doctrines of grace, doesn't hold to heresy, doesn't permit women to teach or exercise authority in the church, holds to believers' baptism,  and hopefully he will normally teach expositionally.  He should be able to handle the Word of God accurately (though no pastor will always get everything perfectly right and neither do I always get everything right).
I would like him to care about modesty (teaching Biblical principles and the wife's clothing being a good example...and this isn't about wearing a legalistic uniform).
I want a shepherd that protects the flock from error, and loves and serves the sheep.  
The pastor should meet all of the qualifications of an elder found in Scripture.
Not all of the things I've mentioned are just the responsibility of one man, and I do believe in a plurality of male leadership.
There are so many factors, and so I'm sharing three articles that have some of those other issues (including some that I've mentioned).

Thus Sayeth the Pastor: the Nature and Limits of Pastoral Authority   - Austin Duncan

What To Look For in a Shepherd - Jeremiah Johnson

When I look for a shepherd, I do not want a man who is divorced and remarried.
He cannot be devoted to his first wife, and if there was immorality on the man's part then that is certainly adultery.   
The man can be accused of not being above reproach.  If he had children, he cannot manage his household well from a distance.
I do not believe in remarriage in any case (Mark 10:10-11), though I've heard the opposing arguments.
A pastor/elder should be an exemplary example to the flock.

Asking a perspective pastor about his beliefs on some of all of these things and asking who are his favorite authors can give some ideas of what he believes.

While this was tweaked a bit from what Steve Lawson said at The Master's Seminary commencement (and in no way implies an endorsement by anyone of my blog post), I thought I'd share the following.

What with brain fog and health issues of various kinds (including pain), things are so limited for me in that I often feel I can barely make it sitting through a church service in person. 
My hands are really acting up again more as well.
I know some may disagree with some of this post, but I pray it will edify someone, and that it was worth the pain and tingling typing causes.

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13 NASB

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
1 Timothy 4:16 NASB

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