Friday, March 29, 2024

Pastoring a Rural Church (Eph. 4:11-12)

This week I had a delightful lunch with a graduate of the seminary who just took his first church way out in rural Virginia. We talked at length about how pastors are "elders among the people," encouraging the ministry gifts given to the whole church by the Holy Spirit. I told him how country folk can be a bit skeptical about their new pastor. More than once they've seen him resign to take a bigger charge. We also talked about the fact that the very concept of "clergy" and "laity" is absent from the pages of the New Testament. This is no narrow anticlericalism. It's the liberation of the whole people of God to do "the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:12, KJV). For it is through the equipping ministry of the Holy Spirit that both elders and people are restored to their proper dignity. 

I believe Eph. 4:11-12 has the power to change any church that is weary of half-hearted Christianity and is unafraid to take some giant steps with God. May God bless this young man and all pastors who labor for Christ in our rural churches!