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Monday, July 23, 2012

What makes a great pastor/teacher?

Someone asked what makes a great pastor/teacher?

I figured I should let the pros speak on this.

The ministry of preaching is the central labor of my life. My prayer is that through that ministry and everything else I do the great glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ would be magnified as more and more people come to live out the obedience of faith more and more deeply.

- John Piper

" I never want to lose sight of Calvary as the matter of first importance (1 Cor 2:2). I hope my life and leadership are Cross centered. I'm passionate about the local church in a day when eccelesiology is so often neglected. I am a complementarian who appreciates and celebrates complementarity (I'm married to a godly, gifted and beautiful woman!). I am Reformed with a passion to see the free offer of the gospel proclaimed far and wide. "

- CJ Mahaney

"The Bible's purpose is not so much to show you how to live a good life. The Bible's purpose is to show you how Gods grace breaks into your life against your will and saves you from the sin and brokenness otherwise you would never be able to overcome... religion is 'if you obey, then you will be accepted'. But the Gospel is, 'if you are absolutely accepted, and sure youre accepted, only then will you ever begin to obey'. Those are two utterly different things. Every page of the Bible shows the difference."

- Timothy Keller

the only effective way of seeing the significance of a passage is in its context. Going through an entire book sets the passage in its context on its widest, deepest, and richest level. . . . Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament was written as a collection of verses to be thrown into the air and allowed to fall back wherever they might. Rather, each book has a reasonable, logical, inspired flow of thought going from point A to Z, with all stops in between. Each was designed by the Holy Spirit so that you have the Holy Spirit communicating something powerfully and clearly in the whole letter: you dare not miss a single part! If I received five letters in the mail one day, it would make no sense to read a sentence or two out of one, skip two, read a few sentences out of another, and go to the next one and read a few out of that, and on and on. If I really want to comprehend the letter - what is going on, the tone, the spirit, the attitude, and the purpose - I must start from the beginning and go to the end of each one. If that is true of personal correspondence, then how much more is it so of divine revelation."

-John MacArthur

So while it might look like I have given four qualities, it is really all these guys rolled into on. This how I would sum up the most important quality of a pastor/teacher.

It is the ability to exposit the word of God to magnify the greatness of the glory of God in Christ Jesus at Calvary, and the absolute utter acceptance that this has purchased for those who believe.

And humility is really important. While there are many doctrines that are settled in stone. There are many doctrines that good, strong, God-fearing, pastors and teachers disagree over. A great pastor/teacher will have a humble orthodoxy and gentle understanding spirt with those who might disagree.

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