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...and a comment from Revd Malcolm Goodspeed, Head of Ministry, Baptist Union of Great Britain

By Author unknown.

Long pastorates very quickly become personality focused unless great care is exercised. The minister in this very vulnerable position is pressurised to be always succeeding. This pressure is fed by church growth expectations and the current fad of planting new churches. This latter is the mark of a successful minister in the current climate - or so we are led to believe.

Behind many of the issues lies the question of a person's sense of identity in the pastoral office. The culture both within and outside the church causes us to question the value of the pastorate. Specialisms which come into focus in all spheres undermine the concept of the teacher/evangelist who pastors the flock of God. Holding biblical understandings, I believe that longer rather than shorter pastorates enable that ministry. It requires the virtue of stickability which is different from stubbornness. In that spirit we are enabled by grace to come through the difficult periods and still to work with the company of people to whom God is calling us. You hear me in these sentences affirming the value of long pastorates where there is a firm foundation and a mutual respect between the leaders and the fellowship.

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You are reading ...and a comment from Revd Malcolm Goodspeed, Head of Ministry, Baptist Union of Great Britain by Author unknown, part of Issue 10 of Ministry Today, published in June 1997.

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