Today, I was tasked to teach on the role, function, and characteristics of Pastors in this church era. We discussed various Old Testament passages like Jeremiah 3:15, Jeremiah 10:21, Jeremiah 12:10, and Jeremiah 22:22. We asked the questions like;
“What provoked God to promise to give the people good pastors? What was wrong with the ones they had?
“What criticisms did God have of Old Testament Pastors?”
How did Old Testament Pastors differ from New Testament ones?”
What are the fruits of “Pastoral work?”
What environments best produce Pastors?”
You may, if you wish, give some possible answers to those question in the comment section, but one phrase caught my attention in today’s discourse with the seminary students. One of the students, describing the ‘pastoral’ event of preaching from a pulpit was disgruntled because he felt like his Pastor wanted him to sit in the “SHUT YOUR MOUTH” pew and listen like a good sheep.
It made me sad. It made me think that maybe participatory gatherings are THE WAY to go. Even in seminary, we don’t have a traditional lecture style environment. It’s more like Seminary in a Circle where everyone contributes to the discussion and are guided into learning and practice.
The brother who felt like he was commanded to sit in the SHUT YOUR MOUTH pew didn’t feel like there was an out from that environment that wouldn’t be met with some form of castigation or condemnation by those who are married to that system.
What advice would you have given this brother?